Fulton Chain Lakes

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View of the Fulton Chain (4th Lake) from Bald Mountain

The Fulton Chain Lakes are a string of eight lakes located in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York in the United States of America. These lakes are located in Herkimer County and Hamilton County. This string of lakes begins near Old Forge and ends before it reaches Raquette Lake. They are great for pontoon boats (the most popular type in the area), kayaks, and motor boats.


The lakes in the chain have been given ordinal designations: First Lake, Second Lake, Third Lake, Fourth Lake, Fifth Lake, Sixth Lake, Seventh Lake, and Eighth Lake. The chain begins with a small lake not counted in the series called Old Forge Pond. In reality, First, Second and Third Lake are one long lake separated by narrow straits. At the east end of Fourth Lake, by Inlet in Hamilton County, a stream, or channel, allows access to the small Fifth Lake. A portage is necessary to arrive at Sixth Lake, which is also connected by a narrow strait to Seventh Lake. Another portage is required to gain access to Eighth Lake.

Beyond Eighth Lake is Raquette Lake and another string of lakes in Indian Lake, New York.

Expansions in 1789[edit]

The lakes were expanded from 2,762 acres (11 km2) to 3,481 acres (14 km2) in 1798 when the Moose River was dammed at Old Forge.[1][2] The present dam at Old Forge holds back 6.8 billion US gallons (26,000,000 m3) of water. This reservoir is managed by the HR-BR Regulating District. In the late 1800s, the State Water Power Commissioner made an agreement with Fulton Chain cottage owners and recreational users to maintain the water level during the summer season, an agreement still in effect.[3] [4]


The lakes sport decent populations of gamefish including northern pike, lake trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, landlocked (Atlantic) salmon, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, tiger muskie and various panfish.

The Fulton Chain is the start of the Adirondack Canoe Classic, a three-day, 90-mile (140 km) canoe race.


  1. ^ [1] www.history.rochester.edu History of the Canal System of the State of New York
  2. ^ [2] Fulton Chain of Lakes Association
  3. ^ www.inletny.com - Boating
  4. ^ [3]

Coordinates: 43°45′N 74°52′W / 43.750°N 74.867°W / 43.750; -74.867