One of the best features of hiking in the Adirondacks is the availability of lean-tos. These three-sided structures exist elsewhere, but are commonly associated with the Adirondacks. Represented on most hiking maps by big, black dots, lean-tos are a welcome site to the hiker enduring steady rain. Lean-tos are extremely simple buildings. They have three sides, a pitched roof with an eaves hanging over the open face, and a wood floor. Roofs are either sheet metal or shingles. The logs for the lean-tos typically came from the area that was cleared to create the campsite.
Most Woodcrafters have at least one great story of a night spent in a lean-to. After a long day of hiking, a sleeping pad on top of the wood floor can feel like the best mattress on the market. Lean-tos are often the site of marathon card games, serious map consultations, great jokes, and many other unforgettable camp memories. The lean-to is an enduring image of the Adirondacks and many campers' Woodcraft experience.