by Charles Herr
THE FULTON CHAIN CLUB PRESERVE. Under the pilotage of one of those faithful hunters, young Abner Blakeman [popular Inlet guide, died in 1925 in a tragic auto accident], the writer recently explored the greater part of the Fulton Chain Club’s lands and lakes.
The outlet from Fifth Lake, flowing into Fourth Lake at Hess’ Camp, forms a water lane of great beauty, just sufficiently wide and deep to enable the guide to navigate his boat against its clear swift current.
Fifth Lake is entirely surrounded with the dense foliage of the forest.
It is a favorite spot for trout fishing. A brief carry around the cascades above, where the State dam is located, is next in order, and then the channel to Sixth Lake is reached.
From this lake there is a splendid view of Black Mountain, which is upon the company’s tract. The lake is full of brook trout.
Seventh Lake is reached through an outlet. The shores, like those of Fourth Lake, which it closely resembles, are high and heavily clad with fine timber.
Several well-built private camps have already been erected upon this lake, that of Mr.Miller [Brayton B. Miller] being shown in the illustration.
It is said that the salmon trout caught in this lake are often of unusual size.
Eighth Lake is reached from the inlet of Seventh Lake by a well-worn portage of a little more than a mile.
Some magnificent specimens of ancient pines are seen along this path.
Eighth Lake is remarkable for its translucent waters, which reflect upon the glassy surface a duplicate in reverse of the beautiful shore by which it is environed.
Near the head of the lake is a fine spring where passers-by usually halt for lunch.
Midway in the lake is a rocky islet upon which the veteran guide and trapper Alva Dunning has one of his camps.
Eighth Lake is located entirely in the midst of State land.
Brown Tract Inlet is all that now intervenes between the Fulton Chain Lakes and the broad waters of Raquette Lake.
From Dunning’s camp we turned back, and, retracing our path, reached Fourth Lake at sunset.
A VISIT TO LIMEKILN LAKE. From each of these lakes, trails lead away to other picturesque lakelets and ponds where the deer resort to feed in large numbers.
The writer visited but two of these, namely Limekiln and Fawn Lakes.
The trail to Limekiln Lake springs from the almost precipitous shores of Fifth Lake, and is fully three miles long, but, although steep and toilsome in places, is unusually good and very enjoyable.
If the adventurer, halting wearily along this carry, has felt any regret at the undertaking, it will be instantly dissipated when the lovely waters of Limekiln come into view, its dancing waves plashing up along a half mile of smooth sandy beach bordering its eastern margin.
This is the ideal spot for a hunter’s dinner.
Beneath the noble pines that stand in silent review behind this golden shore we build a fire.
The pack basket gives up its treasures.
Coffee is made, a trout or so is caught and broiled, a bark table is improvised; sparkling clear spring water flowing close at hand is the wine in which we toast our present happiness and the success of the Fulton Chain Club…
Half a mile to the eastward of Limekiln Lake beach, and reached by a very indistinct trail, is Fawn Lake, where at any time deer may be seen grazing along the meadow or swimming in the pools.
This is magnificent hunting ground. There is but a single camp [possibly Lawrence’s who also built a camp on Moss Lake in the 1880s] upon Limekiln Lake, and that one only occupied occasionally for a day or so by its owner.
The deer resort to the grassy shallows of its bays, or, when pursued by dogs [the “hound law” would soon be passed outlawing this style of hunting], wade for distances along the sandy bottom to destroy the scent. Wild fowl are numerous upon this lake. Its rocky headlands are suggestive of the Thousand Islands, an effect enhanced by the group of lovely pine-clad islets near its western end.
Note: Special thanks to Dick Ralph for providing me a copy of the Fulton Chain Club’s Prospectus. Historical comments are from Joseph Grady’s “The Story of a Wilderness” and the Lowville Journal & Republican, May 13, 1909 from the Northern New York Library Network .