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Old 03-24-2021, 11:09 PM   #3
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,296
The closest that the general public can drive to Deer Pond is the gate that is about a quarter mile north of the pond itself. From there it's a relatively easy carry/wheel down to the pond itself.

Motor vehicle access beyond the Deer Pond gate to Fifth Lake is CP-3 only. In other words, it's only available to persons with a disability who obtain a permit from the DEC (and get the key to the gate). The site on the west end of Fifth Lake is designed to be an accessible site but I believe is open to use by anyone and everyone.

Many of the interior sites in the Essex Chain complex are honestly kind of "eh." Some of them are lacking in flat ground that is ideal for pitching tents. And I believe that the fire ban is still in place even though the DEC has announced plans to repeal it at some point in the future.

A lot of the trails in the area are logging roads that were in regular usage up until state acquisition of the property a few years ago. They are also kind of "eh." Nice enough if you're biking or horseback riding, I suppose, but if you're hiking it's a lot of green tunnels through forest with old log landings along the way that are slowly revegetating. The whole area was pretty obviously heavily cut over prior to state acquisition... the forest will recover in time, but it's going to be a decade or two before it truly feels as "wild" as much of the rest of the forest preserve.

If you're looking for roadside sites, there's 6 along the road into the Deer Pond Gate. Some of these sites receive very little use. Most aren't really roadside, but are a 100-200 feet or so off the road (so a relatively short walk to access). Fires are allowed at these sites.

Last edited by DSettahr; 03-25-2021 at 09:12 PM..
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