Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: Moose on the Loose in Indian Lake

There are so many festivals in the autumn that it is easy to be overwhelmed with the various opportunities. One reason that I do favor these annual events for my family is the variety of activities at each festival. As my children get older they want to have more input in the activities that we do. We find a festival offers a little bit of everything for my family of four.

I have driven through Indian Lake but I have yet to stop and linger in the town. That is one reason to make the Great Adirondack Moose Festival a place to stop on September 24-25. I am always curious how these small hamlets came to be. What sustains them now? My questions can be answered with a visit to the Town of Indian Lake Museum with Hamilton County Historian Bill Zullo.

For the second year The Great Adirondack Moose Festival, September 24-25, will be providing “real, authentic information on the return of the moose to the Adirondack Park, according to Event Chairperson Brenda Valentine.

Outdoor venues run the gamut from a Sawyer Mountain guided hike to an old fashion turkey shoot. There is an array of children’s activities from moose walking contests to counting scat. (No need to be alarmed, it isn’t the real thing.) Though you are able to attend a backcountry safety program and learn to identify moose scat among other things.

“The big new event for this year is the Moose Calling Contest,” says Valentine. “Ed Kanze has worked hard to give input for this part of the program. This will be a first in all of New York State. We are basing the event on the North Country Moose Calling Contest in NH. We have gotten so much interest in this and it’s free.”

Contest participants are encouraged to preregister by calling 518-648-5636 for one of the two categories. – Children (up to 18) and Adult (19+). Valentine said she was surprised to learn how many different calls the sow and bull moose make.

Author, naturalist and wilderness guide Ed Kanze will also be one of the judges for the Saturday event and will also be on hand with Adirondack Almanack contributor Tom Kalinowski for a book signing the next day.

“Last year I believe the highlights of the event were all the children’s workshops and activities so we made sure to bring those all back,” says Valentine. “People were lined up to try the Turkey Shoot, which is really shooting clay pigeons. Also all the lectures were very popular. One in particular was Ed Reed’s ‘Moose on the Loose.’ This year he will report again on the current status and future of moose in New York State.”

Valentine wants to present factual information in a fun way, “People are curious about the moose. We have talked to rangers who have never seen one. There are misconceptions about this animal that looks so docile but is clearly not. There is really no organization educating people about the moose. We hope to provide that information to everyone.”

Though the focus for the Great Adirondack Moose Festival is informing the public about the moose population there are plenty of other hands-on activities. The majority of the events are free though there is a fee for the Turkey Shoot, “Laramie Project” play at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts as well as a sign making workshop. Otherwise tour the Moose River Plains, take a hike or learn a little bit about Indian Lake.

Photo used with permission of the Great Adirondack Moose Festival.


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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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