A map of the Essex Chain Lakes Primitive Area. (AndyArthur.org)

A map of the Essex Chain Lakes Primitive Area. (AndyArthur.org)

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that beginning August 15, campers planning to camp on one of the 11 tent sites on the shores of the Essex Chain Lakes will no longer be required to reserve a site before camping.

While tent sites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, campers will need to complete self-issued camping permits year-round at the trailhead register at the Deer Pond Parking Area. This will allow DEC to continue to monitor usage levels of the tent sites.

Campfires remain prohibited on the 11 waterfront tent sites. Campfires are allowed at the other 19 tent sites in the Essex Chain Lakes Complex.

Anyone camping for more than three nights at any of the tent sites or with a group of 10 or more people must obtain a free camping permit from a forest ranger.

The camping permit system had been administered by the nearby Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC), part of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, which will continue to administer the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) in the Essex Chain Lakes Complex.

MAPPWD permit holders need to contact AIC at 518-582-2000 or aic@esf.edu to reserve a parking space on Fifth Lake. The parking spaces provide access to an accessible tent site and accessible hand launch. AIC operates 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday but Tuesday between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day.

Questions may be directed to the DEC Warrensburg office, (518) 623-1200.

A wooded shoreline along New York's Essex Chain Lakes. (Wikimedia Photo)

A wooded shoreline along New York’s Essex Chain Lakes. (Wikimedia Photo)