Essex Chain of Lakes Now Open to Public Adirondacks

PLEASE NOTE: THIS BLOG POST WAS MADE IN 2013. THERE IS NOW AN UPDATED MAP COURTESY OF NYSDEC. DO NOT PARK ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.

Governor Cuomo has announced that the Essex Chain of Lakes is now open to the public for the first time in 100 years. That’s the headline.

For those of us in the Five Towns of Newcomb, Indian Lake, North Hudson, Minerva and Long Lake, we say… WELCOME! Come on in and we’re glad you’re here and let us tell you how to get there from here.

From Long Lake – travel east on 28N to Newcomb, NY for approx 13 miles. Make a right on Pine Tree Road and then another right onto Goodnow Flow Road. Travel on Goodnow Flow Road approx 7 miles. Keep your eyes peeled for official DEC signage and kiosks to direct you to access and parking. It will be like the Robert Frost poem where you see two roads diverged in a woods… Do you want to go to the Hudson? Or do you want to hit up Deer Pond and do some paddling? Choose your own adventure.

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Approximately 11,600 acres of lands and waters on the Essex Chain Lakes tract in the center of the Adirondacks is now open to the public for outdoor recreation. Under an interim plan administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the public can access these lands beginning today, October 1.

The interim plan administered by DEC allows the public to access these lands prior to the final classification of the lands and completion of a unit management plan (UMP).

Translation:

This is what is permitted on these lands starting Oct 1, 2013.
Hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and horse trail riding on the many miles of former woods roads; hunting, trapping and bushwhacking on the surrounding lands; and fishing and paddling on the Essex Chain Lakes and other waters on the tract.

Paddling Access Info

Motor vehicle access is open on the Woody’s Road/Cornell Road on the adjacent conservation easement lands and on the Boots to Cornell Road on the forest preserve lands. A parking area at the location allows access to Deer Pond.

Paddlers are able to portage their canoes and kayaks about a quarter mile from the parking lot to Deer Pond. They can then paddle across Deer Pond to the landing for a half-mile portage to a put-in site on Third Lake. Paddlers can travel by water to explore First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Lakes of the Essex Chain.

The public may only access the lands for day-use activities under the interim plan; overnight camping is prohibited at this time. Public motorized watercraft and floatplanes will not be permitted on any waterbody during the interim period.

Signs will direct the public to the open roads and parking areas, and gates have been installed on side roads to direct public motor vehicles to the Essex Chain Lakes tract and prevent trespass onto adjacent easement land. In addition, kiosks will provide maps, area regulations and information about the leaseholders’ privileges.

Leaseholder Info:
While the leaseholders on these lands no longer have exclusive use on the newly opened lands, they will retain leased rights that permit motorized access that is not available to the public. In addition, they will still have one-acre exclusive-use envelopes around their camp buildings. Leaseholders also continue to have motorized access to and from the leased camps, including snowmobiles in the winter, ATVs during mud season, and cars and trucks for the remainder of the year. ATV use by leaseholders will also be allowed on designated access roads during hunting season. Please respect leaseholder privacy.

Furthermore, leaseholders will be allowed to use boat motors of 10 horsepower or less on the Essex Chain Lakes 2nd through 6th, Jackson Pond and the Blackwell Stillwater section of the Hudson River from ice-out through June 30 and from October 1 through the end of big game rifle season. They will also be allowed to use electric motors on those waters between June 30 and October 1.