Last month I entered the lottery for the ADK Adopt-a-Leanto Program. There were close to 20 leantos up for adoption this year. The procedure was to submit the request with up to 3 choices from the available list.
I was excited to see that one of my favorite leantos, Herbert Brook, at Flowed Lands, in the Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness Area was available. I submitted that as my first choice along with a second and third choice. I really didn't think I'd get my first choice, but I was hoping that I'd get one of the three.
As luck would have it, I got my first choice! It is a wonderful leanto situated on the NW corner of Flowed Lands at the base of the Herbert Brook herd path to Mount Marshall. It faces south and gets lots of afternoon sun. It's a great spot for bird watching. It's also a nice place to XC to in the winter. It's a newer leanto, with a nice cedar shake roof. It's at a crossroad to many of the high peaks, so I can check up on the leanto then climb any number of peaks. It's also a very short walk to the Opalescent River.
Leesa and I received the new leanto sign-in register in the mail last Friday so we decided to not waste any time in getting out to the leanto to place the register and and make sure the leanto was ready for Spring guests. The weather on Sunday was perfect, so we parked at Upper Works, near Newcomb, and hiked the 4.8 miles on the Calamity Brook Trail to Flowed Lands. In the winter, you can cross Flowed Lands on the ice and be at the Herbert Brook Lean-to in 10 minutes. The rest of the year, you have to take the trail along the west shore.
As you can see below, there was still a fair amount of snow in the woods. Fortunately, it was 26 degrees when we started out, so the snow was frozen. We wore Microspikes, but carried snowshoes in case the snow started to soften.
|A new 2012 footbridge over Herbert Brook (close to the lean-to)|
We reached the lean-to after another .7 miles or so. It is in great condition. We are hoping it will stay that way during our tenure as adopter. We left the register in a ziplock bag, along with some pens and pencils. Please sign in and leave your thoughts! If anyone sees any problems at this lean-to, let me know, and I'll go out and check on it. Right now it's quite muddy out front, but it will dry up in the next couple weeks.
There is a toilet located behind the lean-to. It is not an enclosed privy, but rather an open box toilet! You won't want to sit there too long...
|In perfect shape and ready for guests!|
Once we were satisfied that the lean-to was totally clean, we wandered over to the Opalescent River, where we could get a good look at the MacIntyre Range and Mount Colden. The snow on the rocks by the water has melten and just some chucks of ice remain in areas where it is mostly shady.
|The Opalescent River with Mount Colden in the background|
Next we continued along the west side of Lake Colden past the McMartin, Beaver Point and Cedar Point leantos and over to the ADK Interior Outpost, a beautiful Ranger facility. There is still ice on Lake Colden, but it is no longer safe to walk on.
|Mount Colden, as seen from near the Interior Outpost|
No one was around the Outpost. We walked to the water's edge and enjoyed the view of Mount Colden. It was a nice bluebird day. The temperature warmed up to around 40 degrees, but the snow remained firm on our way out and we didn't need the snowshoes at all.
Be sure to visit the Herbert Brook Lean-to! It's a great spot to camp and a great spot just to stop and enjoy the views and have a snack. Please keep it clean and pack out what you pack in.
Hike Distance: 12.4 miles
Hike Time: 7 hours, including stops
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 1600'
|A view of the route (Click to enlarge)|