Additional information on the Essex Chain Lakes, including recreation opportunities, regulations and directions, can be found on the DEC's website.

If you would like more information on camping in Essex Chain Lakes, feel free to contact the AIC at 518-582-2000 or

Click Here for Campsite Availability

Click image for a map of Essex Chain Lakes campsites

ecl campsite map

Essex Chain Lakes Campsite Reservations

After October 15th, the AIC will no longer issue permits for the designated campsites within the Essex Chain Lakes Primitive Area. Instead, the sites will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. The permit reservation system at the AIC will resume on May 15th, 2015. All camping regulations in the ECLPA will remain in effect.

The Essex Chain Lakes boasts numerous lakes and ponds, a variety of valuable wetland systems, and beautiful stretches of the Cedar and Hudson rivers. In addition to containing a range of ecologically significant resources, the region also provides fantastic recreational opportunities, including hiking, paddling, wildlife watching, hunting, fishing and camping.

The Adirondack Interpretive Center is excited to be partnering with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in administering the permitting system for the campsites in the new Essex Chain Lakes Primitive Area (ECLPA).

Camping within the ECLPA is allowed at designated, permitted sites only within 500 feet of a waterbody. Campfires are prohibited at these permitted sites. Maximum length of stay is 3 nights, and maximum day use and overnight group size is 8 people.

Permits can be acquired through Backcountry Stewards stationed at the AIC during normal business hours (please note: the AIC has switched to its Fall/Winter/Spring hours. Staff will be available for permitting Tuesday through Saturday, 10am - 4pm). Visitors can reserve a permitted site up to 10 days in advance by calling or emailing the AIC.

Formerly known as the Newcomb Visitor Interpretive Center and administered by the Adirondack Park Agency, the AIC is now a branch of SUNY-ESF's Northern Forest Institute.

Photo Credit: İMelody Thomas, provided courtesy of The Nature Conservancy - Adirondack Chapter


YouTube Channels

ESF | Athletics | Research | Academics | Sustainability | New York | Nature

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
1 Forestry Drive | Syracuse, NY 13210 | 315-470-6500
Copyright © 2015 | Admissions Information | Webmaster