Catskills Lean-to Crew
Varies with each worktrip. All of our projects take place in the Catskill Forest Preserve. Please see upcoming events for more details.
Spring to Fall, Sporadically
About the Crew:
The Catskills Lean-to Crew was unofficially established in the late summer/fall of 2021 with their first work trip at the Baldwin Memorial Lean-to on Mount Tremper followed by their first official crew season in the Spring of 2022. This all-volunteer crew makes improvements to the lean-tos and privies, which are beyond the scope of the individual Shelter Caretakers responsibilities.
The Trail Conference works with the Dept. of Environmental Conservation staff, to prioritize all lean-to and privy projects in the Catskills Forest Preserve in New York State. The crew consists of a handful of returning Crew Members and many first time volunteers.
We often return to a shelter a few times to complete larger projects. Volunteers may come for a day or choose to stay overnight to enjoy a fun campout at the lean-to project site. Everyone brings along food to cook over the fire while working and having fun. Some are experienced campers others are having their first backcountry overnight experience!
The hike in, with camping gear, tools and building supplies is strenuous. Those coming for the day are not burdened by the weight of their gear and can be especially helpful carrying tools and supplies in and out! Some lean tos are near the road, others are 2-3 miles in, near the top of a mountain.
Where We Work:
All of our projects take place in the Catskill Forest Preserve in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
No experience is necessary and beginners are strongly encouraged to join us! The crew provides assistance with preparation and day-of logistics. Our experienced Crew Leader, when not out fixing up lean-tos with the crew, is an experienced Carpenter who will provide newcomers with the knowledge and guidance they need to help out with a project. Volunteers will learn a variety of skills from replacing shingles on the roof of a lean-to and re-using old boards to build a new privy to improving a natural spring or rebuilding a fire pit.
To volunteer with the crew, visit our events page or email Catskills Lean-To Crew Chief Eric Friedman.