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Comment period is extended for Essex Chain and trail plan

Saturday, July 19, 2014 - Updated: 9:32 AM



ALBANY -- The public has an additional seven days to comment on the draft unit management plan for the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex and the Draft Community Connector Multiple Use Trail Plan.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has extended the comment period to July 25.

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

The Draft Essex Chain UMP proposes to:

-- establish 13 tent sites (11 on the water) for which camping permits would have to be obtained from the Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb, and prohibit "at-large" camping;

-- establish/retain four tent sites along Camp 6 Road, four along Chain Lakes Road South, two along the Cornell Road, and two on Pine Lake;

-- prohibit fires within 500 feet of any body of water and at all tent sites;

-- allow mountain bike use on select roads within the complex that are used by lessees;

-- construct public parking near Fourth and Fifth lakes, move the parking area on Drake's Mills Road closer to the Iron Bridge, and retain the parking at Outer Gooley;

-- designate canoe carries;

-- designate horse trails and establish a parking area for horse trailers on the Chain Lakes Road North; and

-- construct an eight foot wide bridge over the Cedar River in the Hudson Gorge Wilderness for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and equestrian use, which would require changing the land use designation in that spot.

The Chain Lakes Road South would remain open to motor vehicles as far as Outer Gooley, with seasonal access continuing north through the Wild Forest corridor and on a portion of Camp 6 Road for big game hunting.

The Draft Essex Chain UMP is on DEC's website at


A portion of the 85,058-acre Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest, located in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb in Essex County, is the focus of the Draft Trail Plan UMP, which also serves as an amendment to the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest UMP, the Camp Santanoni Historic Area UMP, and the Lake Harris Public Campground UMP.

The Draft Trail Plan proposes locations for multiple-use trails between the communities of Newcomb, Minerva and North Hudson, as well as connecting to the recently acquired state lands in the vicinity of the Hudson River.

The Draft Trail Plan 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 UMP is on DEC's website at

Comments on the two draft UMPs may be sent to Josh Clague at NYSDEC, 625 Broadway 5th Floor, Albany NY 12233-4254 or Comments should include the full name of the draft UMP in the subject line.


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