Text and photos by Peter Senterman

Help build lean-tos in the Catskills!

Help build lean-tos in the Catskills!

Ever wonder what it takes to build a lean-to? The Trail Conference, with the cooperation of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), is building two lean-tos on the grounds of the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center on Route 28 in Mt. Tremper, N.Y., and everyone is invited to participate.

Construction began June 18, and will continue almost every Saturday (weather permitting) throughout the summer. Once the structures are completed, they will be disassembled and packaged into bundles for delivery via helicopter to their final sites. Please let us know if you have access to a helicopter that we may use for the move! We are still trying to secure transport.

Site one will be in the vicinity of the old German Hollow Lean-to near Arkville. This lean-to was crushed by three large ash trees several years ago. The new lean-to will be close to the Dry Brook Trail.

The second lean-to will replace the failing Batavia Kill Lean-to, located just off the Escarpment Trail between Blackhead Mountain and Acra High Point. The current lean-to was built in the 1960s in a wet location; the bottom logs have rotted, the structure is leaning, and the floor has been destroyed by porcupines.

We’re looking for volunteers to both assist during the build phase and to help clear the sites, gather stones for a foundation, and reassemble the structures. Check our Catskills Lean-to page, or email volunteers@nynjtc.org for more info.