Rules, Guidelines

& FAQs

Protecting & Respecting The Flow 

Goodnow Flow is a very special place for so many and we all take great pride in keeping that way for generations to come. As such, the following information is a list of provisions for a safe and peaceful quality of lake life.

See the GFA by-laws for a full set of rules and other regulations (e.g., snowmobile/ATV use) available from:

Secretary Ed Banovic


Fishing, Hunting, Trapping: Current NYS licenses required. Comply with GFA and NYS seasonal regulations/rules. No live bait except worms.  No fishing for seven days following stocking: notice will be sent/posted. Ice fishing prohibited. No discharge of any firearm or bow inside peripheral road; NYS law governs such discharges outside peripheral road. Comply with lease restrictions. No trap setting inside peripheral road, except with nuisance permit requested from Board.

Snowmobiles:  See Regulations provided by Secretary including those concerning guests and fines levied for member/guest offenses. Current snowmobile sticker (not same as GFA member sticker) must be displayed on vehicle. To obtain sticker, send annual registration/proof of insurance for each vehicle to Secretary. Guests must be accompanied by member. Use limited to snowmobile trails determined by NYS, GFA lease, and Board. Speed limit on trails, lake, and roads is 20 mph, except paved part of peripheral road and Woody’s Road west of Goodnow River bridge where speed limit is posted by Town and DEC. DOT-approved helmets required. Other rules apply to operators under 16 (see GFA regulations/by-laws). Entrance to lake only permitted from owner’s lot, the two boat launches, and other lots with owner permission. 

ATVs: See Regulations provided by Secretary. Current ATV sticker must be displayed on vehicle. To obtain sticker, send annual registration and proof of insurance to Secretary. Use limited to ATV trails determined by NYS, GFA lease, and Board. Speed limit on all trails and roads is 20 mph, except paved part of peripheral road and Woody’s road west of Goodnow River bridge where speed limit is posted by Town and DEC.  DOT-approved helmets required. Other rules apply to operators under 16 (see GFA regulations/by-laws).  Although ATV operators may use peripheral road year-round, users are not permitted on other trails during snowmobile season. The Board strongly requests that any wheeled vehicle not be driven on unplowed roads during snowmobile season due to serious ruts and damage which create dangerous conditions and raise GFA repair costs.

Keys/Locks:  Each member gets one gate key which works on gate to main boat launch and gates on roads on leased land (e.g. Cornell and Camp 3 Roads).  Each spring mud locks are put on leased land gates during frost/mud season. Key DOES NOT open mud locks.  Mud locks installed to prevent significant road damage. Do not ride/drive on any road that has mud locks; minimize use of any Goodnow Flow unpaved road during frost/mud season.


Guests: GFA issues members four ID buttons, one for member, three for guests. Buttons must be worn by members and guests. Guests are accompanied by member when using lake, lease, trails, or peripheral road. By-laws/regulations require members to be responsible for guests; if guests violate by-laws, member is subject to penalties.

Noise/Lighting:  The quality of remoteness, solitude, and quiet makes lake life so appealing.  Members, families, and guests are asked to keep music volume low enough not to disturb others and to quiet barking dogs. Quiet time should be observed after 10:00 pm. Turn off excess outdoor lighting so all can enjoy night sky.

Boats: Current NYS registration required for all motorized boats. Boat cannot have a motor rated in excess of 10 horsepower. Jet skis prohibited. Each boat, including kayaks/canoes, must have a Goodnow Flow member sticker displayed. The Secretary may provide additional stickers as needed.           

Boat Launch: The boat launch area is not a storage area. The intent is to have an area for members to have an area to park their tow vehicle and trailer while launching the boat, then coming back to remove the tow vehicle and trailer in order for more members to have the same access.

Water Quality, Invasive Species, and Your Watercraft: One of the biggest threats to the water quality of the Flow is the introduction of aquatic invasives. Many lakes in our area have been drastically altered. Precaution and vigilance are key. If your boat, canoe, kayak, paddle board, or any watercraft, has been on another body of water it should be checked and appropriately disinfected before entering our lake. In June of 2022 DEC launched a new “Aquatic Invasive Species Requirements for Motorized Boats in Adirondack Waters.” One other concern to water quality is increased nutrient load from leaking septic systems and fertilizer runoff. Dye tablets to check septic systems are available from the GFA board. Newcomb now has a Mobile Boat Cleaning Station to keep invasive species out of our State lakes, including Goodnow Flow. The station is located at the entrance to the boat launch just off the main road into the Town Beach. For more information click here

High Water / Flash Flood Warning: Before leaving your camp at the end of your stay, always move and secure your kayaks, canoes, paddles, and other other belongings that could possibly float away above the high water mark for your camp in the event of a sudden rise in the water level during and after a major storm. It is highly encouraged to leave your cell number with your neighbors and the GFA to alert in the event of an emergency situation like a storm surge.

Buildings: Construction of all structures must comply with all applicable zoning laws/regulations. Most projects

require building permits. No premises used for commercial purposes. 

Fireworks: NYS and Essex counties regulate/restrict use of fireworks. NY State prohibits aerial consumer fireworks, firecrackers and chasers, roman candles, bombs, and metal wire sparklers.  For more information see here. Please note that fireworks disturb pets and wildlife and contribute to debris that ends up in the lake.

Stickers:  Current GFA member stickers must be displayed on Member’s car, truck, trailer, and boats. 

Trail Bikes (motorized): Same rules for ATVs apply to trail bikes except that motorized dirt bikes prohibited on leased property.

Islands:  Islands on Flow, all owned by GFA, may be visited. Camping/campfires and building of any kind prohibited; no docks may be constructed that reach from shoreline to islands. See all by-law restrictions.


When does water level change in the Flow? Water level, controlled by spillway gates, is lowered each Fall, beginning Columbus Day Weekend, to protect dam and remove docks from winter ice. Members are notified in meeting minutes, official GFA webpage, and on bulletin board. Remove boat while there is still adequate water in the Flow to use boat launches.

Where is boat launch? There are two launches. The most accessible is on north shore, west of spillway—a parking lot is across from launch. Launch protected by locked gate; lock gate following usage. Key that operates boat launch gate works on all GFA gates. The smaller boat launch is on Beaver Bay at end of Muskrat Lane (no gate there).

Who can vote in GFA elections and on by-laws? Voting Members in good standing are permitted to vote. Elections and voting on by-law changes normally occur at the Annual Meeting. To become a “Voting Member” payment of a one-time initiation fee of $730 required. The annual meeting is held on Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

How is annual fee established and when is it due? Voting Members in good standing vote on annual fee at annual meeting. Minutes/annual fee bill are then mailed to each lot’s Corresponding Member. Fee paid to Treasurer any time after meeting. If not paid by end of December, late penalty levied for each month fee not paid after December. 

Who is required to pay annual fee? An annual fee is due for each of the lots established on Flow. These are identified on GFA map given each member; a list of each of these lot owners is mailed to the Corresponding Member each year. If one or more of these original lots has been combined by a deed that includes language forbidding future subdivision of lot, then only one annual fee is due for each of these deeded lots. The required deed language is available from GFA Board.

Can I let friends hunt, fish, boat, swim, or operate ATVs/snowmobiles on GFA property/lease? Yes, but only if you accompany them. If your guests use the GFA facilities without the Corresponding Member present, the Corresponding Member may be fined. Consult by-laws and GFA regulations.

How can I keep up to date with GFA news?  Communications, e.g., board meeting minutes, sent by email or post from Secretary. To save GFA time, paper, and postage, the GFA encourages all members to receive communications by email and not by post. Check bulletin board and see GFA face book page at Goodnow Flow Association for a flavor of the Flow. In 2023, the board introduced the official website of the GFA which provides important year-round information and notices at and an email contact for anyone who wishes to ask questions.

How should I plow on unpaved peripheral road?  Plow on lakeside of road reserved for four-wheelers/cars/trucks; leave 2-3 inches of snow on ground and leave balance of width of road to snowmobiles/ATVs.  Never scrape bottom of road to prevent rut, limit slippery conditions. 

How can I assist first responders in effectively reaching my camp at the Flow? To assist in the arrival of the fire and rescue squad in the event of an emergency, it is imperative that your 911 sign for your street address (not lot number) is clearly posted for all to see, as well as a post to the entry of the lot if that is the case.


                 July 2023