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Comments on Essex Chain and trail plans are due by July 18

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - Updated: 10:17 PM



ALBANY -- There would be more opportunities for outdoor recreation in the central Adirondack Park under two proposed plans released June 18.

Comments will be accepted through July 18 on the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex Draft Unit Management Plan (Draft UMP) and a Draft Community Connector Multiple-Use Trail Plan (Draft Trail Plan).

“The projects described in these two plans will provide a significant increase in outdoor recreational opportunities for the public and economic opportunities for the nearby Adirondack communities,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens.

The management plan for the Essex Chain Lakes includes building a bridge over the Cedar River for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and horses; public parking near Fourth and Fifth lakes near Newcomb; about 30 tent sites; seasonal motorized access to the Chain Lakes Road (South) and Camp Six Road for big game hunting; canoe carries; and mountain bike use on select roads within the complex that are used by lessees.

The Essex Chain Lakes Complex includes the 6,956-acre Essex Chain Primitive Area, the 2,788-acre Pine Lake Primitive Area and a portion of the 42,537-acre Blue Mountain Wild Forest. These lands are in the Town of Indian Lake in Hamilton County, and the towns of Newcomb and Minerva in Essex County.

This plan covers the period before the Sept. 30, 2018 expiration of the Polaris and Gooley clubs’ exclusive use rights. When those leases expire this UMP will be revisited and amended.

The draft UMP is available on DEC’s website at


The draft trail plan focuses on a portion of the 85,058-acre Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb, Essex County.

It proposes multiple-use trails between the communities of Newcomb, Minerva and North Hudson, as well as connecting to recently acquired state lands near the Hudson River. It also proposes the construction of a bridge over Palmer Pond outlet and the designation of campsites in the vicinity of Great Camp Santanoni and the Hudson River near Northwoods Club Road.

The Draft Trail Plan is available at

Comments on either or both may be sent to Josh Clague at NYSDEC, 625 Broadway 5th Floor, Albany NY 12233-4254 or e-mailed to Comments should include the full name of the plan in the subject line.


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