Adirondack Explorer broke some news last week that saddened me. The cool little cabin atop Thomas Mountain in Bolton is going to be removed, probably in the next few months.
The cabin has been there for decades, since the property was privately owned. But when Lake George Land Conservancy sold the land to the state, and it became part of the state forest preserve, it became a "non-conforming" part of the land.
The DEC notice about the removal indicated the cabin had become a "public nuisance and public health threat," according to the Explorer writeup.
Both of those "reasons" irk me, frankly.
First of all, while I'm sure there are obscure regulations about the differences between cabins and lean-tos, I'm not sure how (other than a fourth wall) that cabin could be considered any different, under the spirit of the regulations, than a lean-to. It's unheated and there is no bathroom. Is there a grandfathering provision to these rules?
I've visited it a half-dozen times or so, and never found a mess, or indication it was a party spot or problem. It takes some effort to get there, and most underage drinkers or those looking to hide a party aren't going to hike the 1.5 miles up this mountain to have their gathering.
I have found far bigger messes, and evidence of partying, at many of the lean-tos in the forest preserve around Lake George. The one near Fishbrook Pond was a disaster when I visited it earlier this fall, with garbage all over.
As the Explorer article pointed out, some lost hikers took shelter in that cabin earlier this year. Thomas Mountain is a very popular beginner hike with great views, and the cabin adds to that experience.
There is no legitimate reason to remove it.
-- Don Lehman