Friday, September 30, 2016

Easy, Short Adirondack Hikes Moss Lake Loop trail Inlet (Old Forge) Inlet Outdoor Family Challenge

Moss Lake is a beautiful 2.5-mile loop trail near Inlet, NY
My family searches for swimming spots, every time we go for a hike. We hold tight to the knowledge that have a hot day on the trail we can come back to cool off in a nearby lake or pond. Moss Lake off of Big Moose Rd in Eagle Bay, near Inlet is one such place.

Part of the 15,410 Fulton Chain Wild Forest, the trail to Moss Lake has two entrances, one accessible and the other a short jaunt to access the water. The main parking area offers plenty of parking while just 0.1-mile farther, a handicap-accessible parking area leads to a wide level path and observation platform.

My family is grateful to learn that we can take members of our extended family to the other entrance on our next visit. For this time we walk the quick 0.1-mile for a quick view of the sandy shoreline of Moss Lake.

The loop trail is 2.-5 miles follows the old bridle path when the property was being run as Moss Lake Camp for Girls between 1923 and 1972.

According to the interpretive entrance sign the 600-acre Moss Lake Camp hosted three separate facilities around Moss Lake with sleeping bungalows, dining room recreation hall, infirmary, archery range, dance studio, craft shop, fencing, tennis courts, and waterfront. A riding facility was located on the east side of Big Moose Rd, holding up to 40 horses, a blacksmith shop and three riding rings.

In 1973 the Nature Conservancy purchased the property, which was then acquired for the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve that same year. From 1974 to 1978 members of the Ganienkeh Mohawk tribe too over the property and a three years standoff lead to final negotiations with NYS Secretary of State Mario Cuomo for a 600-acre trust at Miner Lake in Altona to be set aside. Currently the 25 original Mohawk families have a lumber mill, gardens, golf course, Bingo Hall and holistic center in a "dry community."
The retelling of the history makes the time pass even faster as we walk around the lake. If we choose to take the trail clockwise we will get to a junction/spur trail in .07-mile leading to Budd and Sis Lakes, but are only going to be able to walk around the lake on this trip.

Instead we walk counterclockwise, soon passing the accessible observation platform. The first 0.25-mile, the DEC has allotted for handicap-accessible campsites.The trail is well marked, but a bit wet in spots. We can see glimpses of the lake through the trees. Soon we reach a bridge crossing over the lake's outflow.

At 1.8-miles we reach the Bubb/Sis Lake junction. We pass by various lakeside campsites and stop to have a bite to eat at an unoccupied one. We cross over another bridge and are soon back at our car.

A longer trip can be made by leaving a second car at the Bubb/Sis Parking Area on Rt. 28 and to pass keys at a designated halfway spot or to start the hike on Rt. 28 hiking pass Bubb and Siss and around Moss Lake for a complete 6.5-mile round trip hike.

Directions: The Moss Lake trail is located in the Town of Webb in New York's Herkimer County. From Inlet drive south on Rt. 28 for two miles and turn onto Big Moose Road.  The first trailhead will be reached in 1.8-miles. Enjoy!

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time™ guidebook series. Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy, short Adirondack family hikes for ADK kids, parents, retired, seniors, dog-owners, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebooks online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.

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