Adopt A Lean-to

ADK’s 2020 Adopt a Lean-to Lottery

ADK’s popular Adopt-a-Lean-to program is thirty-five years old in 2020. Hundreds of volunteer adopters donate thousands of hours toward maintaining “their” lean-to and its environs, replacing registers, and reporting problems. Major construction is not required, but many adopters have worked on roof replacement, privy locations, log-staining, and other projects under the guidance of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) personnel. ADK is extremely proud of all of these volunteers.

Congratulations to the 2020 Adopt A Lean-To Lottery winners:

Remsen Falls – Black River Wild Forest (Herkimer) – Mark Zak Zalocha
Russian Lake – Pigeon Lake Wilderness (Hamilton) – Joe Marlow
Wilson Pond – Blue Ridgee Wilderness (Hamilton) – Gail Whitman
Pine Lake – HaDeRonDa Wilderness (Lewis) – Rick Schoeberlein
Burntbridge Pond – Cranberry Lake Wilderness (St. Lawrence) – Darryl Dynarski
Deer Brook – High Peaks Wilderness (Essex) – Rob Vanavery
Placid – McKenzie Mountain Wilderness (Essex) – Allen Greene
Grizzle Ocean – Pharaoh Lake Wilderness (Essex) – Liz Demarsh & Teesha Bapp
Holmes Lake – Shaker Mt. Wild Forest (Fulton): James Reed
Clear Pond – Pharaoh Lake Wilderness (Essex): Kristi Brennan
Boquet River – Dix Mt. Wilderness (Essex): Jim Amell
Marcy Dam #5 (Hudowalski) – High Peaks Wilderness (Essex): Noah Haber
Avalanche – High Peaks Wilderness (Essex): Francis Willis
Beaver Point – High Peaks Wilderness (Essex): Mark Boyce
Spruce Lake #1 – West Canada Creek Wilderness (Hamilton): Craig Miles
Spruce Lake #2 – West Canada Creek Wilderness (Hamilton): Kara DuPlessis
Cheney Pond – Vanderwhacker Wild Forest (Essex): Sarah Desrosier & Tom Manitta
Sheep Meadow #1 & #2 – Debar Wild Forest (Franklin): Danielle Papa & Ian Hamelin
Stephens Pond – Blue Ridge Wilderness (Hamilton): Carla & Dan Denn
Uphill – High Peaks Wilderness (Essex): Benjamin Brosseau
Marcy Dam #5 (Hudowalski) – High Peaks Wilderness (Essex): Noah Haber
Fishbrook Pond #1 – Lake George Wild Forest (Washington): Grayson Weil
Cold Brook (Saranac River) – Saranac Lake Wild Forest (Franklin): Emilie Byrd

All available lean-tos have been adopted at this time. Please check back in 2021.

You can enter the lottery to adopt an available lean-to by emailing program coordinator Hilary Moynihan at, or mailing a letter or postcard to her at 149 Fitch Road, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Be sure to indicate which lean-to(s) you are selecting (no more than three).

          • Visit lean-to at least twice during the year.
          • Clean leaves and dirt from roof and away from contact with base logs.
          • Remove any dangerous nails.
          • Sweep out and clean lean-to.
          • Maintain adequate drainage away from lean-to site.
          • Clean the water source, especially if it is a spring.
          • Remove trash and debris, and pack out those items you cannot, or should not, burn.
          • Sweep and clean privy, and put a layer of leaves or other organic material on waste in privy.
          • Check condition of trail and report bad blowdown and missing signs to Hilary Moynihan, ADK Adopt-a-Lean-to Coordinator (contact information below) who will forward it to the appropriate DEC contact person. This information should also be noted on the end of season report.
          • Report the need for repairs of the lean-to.  This would include the foundation, floor, walls, and roof; and whether you could make the repairs if materials were supplied to the site.  Please notify Hilary for possible new requirements regarding such work. This information should also be noted on the end of season report.
          • Clean and repair the fire ring at lean-tos not in the Eastern High Peaks Zone.  PLEASE NOTE:  The High Peaks Unit Management Plan now bans fires in the Eastern High Peaks Zone – “that portion of the High Peaks Wilderness Area located to the east of the ridge line immediately west of the Indian Pass Trail.”  There are to be no fire rings at lean-tos in the Eastern High Peaks Zone.
          • Outside the Eastern High Peaks Zone, leave a supply of firewood in a dry place. (Optional)
          • If privy is full, contact Andrew Hamlin for details (  PLEASE NOTE:  Moving a privy site is a group effort and requires DEC approval.
          • The lean-to register should be in a protective bag (large heavy-duty baggie) with a few pens and/or pencils.  The register is to be left in the lean-to all year.  Report any information in the register that might be of interest or use to ADK or DEC.

Please notify Hilary Moynihan whenever the register is damaged, missing, or needs to be replaced. Hilary will provide you with a new register.  Please return the old register to her:

Hilary Moynihan
ADK Adopt-a-Lean-to Coordinator
129 Virginia Pl
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 581-4061

It is important to return the required reports you are sent. These include:
(1) the year-end summary form after your last work visit for the year; and
(2) the agreement to adopt the lean-to for next year if you wish to readopt the lean-to for next year.

The forms should also be sent to Hilary. These forms will be sent to you by October.

Thank you and enjoy the woods!