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Pine Lake (Essex CL tract)

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  • Pine Lake (Essex CL tract)

    Has anyone hiked the trail to Pine Lake in the Essex Chain of Lakes tract? Any idea how long it is from the last parking lot on Chain Lakes Rd?
    Successful ascents: 137 (81 different) as of 8/30/22
    Adirondack/Catskill fire tower challenge: 13/31
    Adk 29er challenge: 11/29

    Completed: Chester Challenge, Tupper Lake Triad, Hamilton County Waterfall

  • #2
    I’ve gone as far as the big bend in the Cedar while rolling my canoe and gear
    I lost a valve on my tire and retreated back to the car…
    In big game season, the hike in is about 1.5 miles less than usual.
    relying on memory, I think it’s about 2.5 miles from that interior parking lot.
    Pine Lake is a spot I’ve been trying (not very hard, apparently) to paddle for a few years. I’ve given up on the southern approach, easier for me to visit it from the Chain Lakes, the Chain Drain, the Rock and the Cedar. Much more interesting too!!
    Last edited by stripperguy; 10-07-2022, 08:41 AM.


    • #3
      FYI - it's an improved gravel road to the Cedar river. Then a bumpy rocky section to Pine Lake. It is possible to bike it all. Access to Cedar river shore in that area not obvious unless clearing done in last year or so.

      if you go, give update on bridge construction planned across the Cedar. It was flagged the last time I was there but no real prep.


      • #4
        What camp sites are available in the Pine Lake area?

        Some maps, such as TF Outdoors and Open Street Map, show many sites in the half-mile east of the lake. Others, such as the DEC map, only show one site at the east end of the lake.

        I'm interested in packrafting through this area, hiking in from the south, camping on Pine Lake, then paddling across the Cedar River and hiking north into the Essex Chain Primitive Area.


        • #5
          Inded Open street map shows many non existant campsites on the access trail. Don't believe it, thick woods.

          Check DEC website for Essex Chain. Their map shows SW corner site ( reserved for floatplane use) that predates state ownership. The site at the NE corner where "trail" meets the pond is open and nice. I note a trail on DEC map shown heading E from Chain of Lakes rd at Cedar River. A few years ago I looked for but did not spot it. Don't count on it providing access to the river.

          DEC has done well at documenting legal campsites with maps for many (all?) forest areas.


          • #6
            I biked to Pine Lake in May of 2018. I remember seeing two campsites near the trail end. I could also see another one that was occupied at the far end of the pond. I recorded the two campsites with my GPS, indicated by the two tent symbols barely visible in the map below. I don't remember whether either or both were official designated sites or not.