Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Adirondack Family Activities: Great Adirondack Moose Festival

The Great Adirondack Moose Festival will take place in Indian Lake this weekend, September 18-19. The idea was conceived when Event Chairperson Brenda Valentine read of the return of moose to the Adirondack Park.

Before retiring permanently to the Indian Lake area, Valentine organized fundraisers for Consolidated Edison (ConEd). Her experience with public relations and the support of the community has created a new event, she hopes, for all ages. She admits that she couldn’t just sit down and “be retired.”

Moose have a cartoon appeal to my children. With their only experiences being a stuffed mount on someone’s camp wall or a Sunday morning session with “Bullwinkle,” it is no wonder they require a bit more information.

The festival is not only to provide entertainment for participants but provide factual information regarding the return of moose to the Adirondack Park. Valentine says, “I wanted to have professional, authentic information available regarding the return of the moose. All our speakers have worked for years on the subject.”

Heidi Kretser, Livelihoods and Conservation Coordinator for the North America Program at Wildlife Conservation Society, will speak about the “Scent of the Adirondack Moose” while DEC Wildlife Biologist Ed Reed will talk about the return of the moose, eating habits, breeding, habitat needs and other pertinent information. Greg George, former DEC Ranger, will test knowledge about back country safety.

This festival isn’t just about informing people of the status of the Adirondack moose population. Plenty of other activities are planned. Guided walks, quilting demonstrations, a classic car show and old fashioned turkey shoot are a sampling of the wide array of activities in and around Indian Lake.

For children there are puppet-making workshops, coloring contests, games and as well as arts and crafts. Bruce the Moose and Smokey the Bear will be available for that special photo-opt as well as a free moose movie. Children can even count moose scat for prizes. Don’t worry. It’s artificial. A complete list of all children’s activities is available here.

In a previous post from Adirondack Almanack founder John Warren states a brief history of the Moose River Plains tract. There was much controversy this spring over the DEC’s plans to close Moose River Plain Road which provides access to one of the largest sections of remote land in the Adirondack Park. According to the DEC website “local officials from Inlet, Indian Lake and Hamilton County, as well as state legislators, worked together to find ways to cover the road maintenance duties and costs for the season.”

Why do I mention this? A 24-mile, self-guided driving tour map is available at the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce for anyone wishing to gain entrance to this piece of Adirondack wilderness. Be forewarned, it is a dirt road trek. The DEC is providing “moose areas of interest” which include scat sightings and marked trails to see moose habitat.

Valentine wants people to always remember that moose are wild animals and dangerous, to go to the experts with questions and to err on the side of caution. Otherwise its a weekend full of festival food, music and fun.

For more information contact the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce at 518-648-5636.

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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