I just went thru a similar deal in KY last year. A house and property that I wanted to buy had a 400 ft gravel drive from the county road. It was a private drive but it granted egress to property behind me that was not accessible by any other road. The owner of the property in back was just beginning to develop it into lots and was logging and driving in and out of what would have been my driveway and while he was obligated to maintain that driveway, the traffic had torn it all to hell with mud and ruts, etc. The neighbor had every legal right to use the driveway. It was going to be torn up for years as they developed it. Due to that issue alone, I chose not to buy that property. As long as your deed grants egress along that route, your neighbor must either keep the road open for use or give you a key to his gate. How to deal with this? As long as he is not violent, I would call and arrange to meet with him to read over the deeds and discuss an amicable solution. Bring a witness (one of your brothers in law who are lawyers). This biblical and helps to keep things civil and helps to support plans B & C. If that fails, then the simple letter notice from the county attorney or your attorney or other official (Sherriff), might resolve the issue. If all else fails, then legal action might be necessary. Petition the court for removal of the gate or court order to enforce your easement placing him on notice that if he blocks access he could be arrested for contempt. Be civil and cordial and seek a friendly solution before going the other route. Too many men have been killed over property disputes to want to have things turn sour if it can be avoided. Legal action should be a last resort, not the 1st arrow out of the quiver. My 2-cents.