Want to help build history in the Catskills?

Ever wonder what it would be like to build such a structure?  The Trail Conference (TC), with the cooperation of the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), is building two lean-to’s on the grounds of the Maurice Hinchey Visitors Center on Rt. 28 in Mt. Tremper, about a half hour west of Exit 19 (Kingston).

DEC has cut the necessary logs from a Central NY state forest and the TC had them trucked to the Visitor Center site.  This spring we have been peeling the bark off the logs, a tedious but enjoyable project.  Anyone who would like to be involved in this building phase is welcome to join us almost any Saturday (weather permitting) this summer, email us catskills@nynjtc.org to sign up or for more information on the project.  Check www.nynjtc/catskills for progress and schedule.

Once the structure is pre-built at the Visitor Center’s site, it will be disassembled, packaged into bundles and transported to their final sites.  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 during a micro burst several years ago.  The new leanto 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 Mt. and Acra High Point.  The current lean-to was built in the 1960’s in a wet location.  The bottom logs have rotted, the structure is leaning and the floor has been destroyed by porcupines.

Once the bundled lean-tos are delivered to their respective sites, we will be looking for a large number of volunteers to clear the sites, gather stones for a foundation and put up the structure itself.  If putting up the John Robb Lean-to was any indication, this is a festive and rewarding time.  Watch the website mentioned above for dates.


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