The Essex Chain Lakes Complex contains 18 water bodies totaling 785 acres that range in size from 3-acre Chub Pond to 216-acre Third Lake. Paddlers can carry their canoe or kayak 0.25 miles to Deer Pond from the Deer Pond Parking Area at the end of the Cornell/Deer Pond Road. The 0.5-mile carry from Deer Pond to Third Lake is located directly across the pond on its southern shore.
Once in Third Lake, paddlers can access Second Lake by water and from there travel to First Lake using a 0.1-mile carry trail. On the northern shore of First Lake near its western end is the 0.4-mile carry to Grassy Pond.
In the other direction, paddlers can travel from Third Lake to Fourth Lake. Fifth Lake can be reached by paddling through the large culvert under the roadway or, during high water portaging, over the road. Paddlers can reach Sixth and Seventh Lakes directly from Fifth Lake.
Waterfront Camping: There are 11 designated tent sites along the shores of the Essex Chain Lakes. Self-issued permits are required for these 11 sites to allow DEC to gather use data. Permit forms are located in the Deer Pond Trailhead Register Box. The bottom of the completed form should be left in the collection box at the trailhead.
Deer Pond Parking Area along the Cornell/Deer Pond Road is the main point of access for the Essex Chain Lakes and surrounding water bodies. (43.8866°N, 74.2640°W)
Featured paddles are recommended by DEC.
Map of Essex Chain Lakes courtesy Adirondack Atlas.