At the end of the day on Saturday, Leesa and I had about 2 hours before dark on our way home from hiking the Castle Rock loop trail just north of Blue Mountain Lake. As we approached Newcomb, we decided to take a ride into the Essex Chain Lakes Tract and take a short peak at what we could see without having a boat. (Actually I had a kayak on the top of my car, but it was a little cold to be out in the boat without some warm boat clothes). The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has posted a lot of information about this area, including a nice map here.
We turned onto Goodnow Flow Road about 2:45 PM and drove Woody's Road to the dead end at the Deer Pond access parking lot. Lots of hunters were parked there, but we had our orange clothes on and were comfortable hiking in orange. (Rev had orange as well).
|The sign on Route 28N|
There is a barrier at the parking lot, but the access to the ponds is a gravel jeep road that is in excellent condition. You could easily wheel boats in with a dolly. As you approach Deer Pond, you can either do a short carry and paddle across, or you can continue to follow the jeep road around Deer Pond, which is what we did.
|A short carry trail for people that want to cross Deer Pond by boat to access Third Lake|
|The excellent jeep road|
When we got to the east end of Deer Pond we noticed an excellent designated campsite at the waters edge. It had a boat dock and everything! We was also a fine point for us to get some pictures of the setting sun.
|Rev on the campsite boat dock|
It was late, but we moved on quickly to catch a glimpse of Third Lake. I'll be here next spring to paddle the chain of lakes for sure. On this day, we had to satisfy ourselves with a quick peek.
|Sign for boaters taking out of Third Lake|
For today, all we could do was make our way back to the car at dusk and we drove out in the dark. I was excited to see that this area has lots of appeal to me for boating. This will be a first stop on a nice spring day.
Hike Distance: 2.75 miles
Hike Time: 1 hour
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 100 feet
Blue is the drivable route, Red was the hike portion (click image to enlarge