The Adirondacks, with its vast expanses of wilderness forests, abundant stretches of pristine wetlands, waterways and rugged mountain terrain, serves as home to many forms of wildlife. While all of these creatures have uniquely appealing traits and exhibit their own brand of personal charm, few possess the backwoods’ magic and allure of the moose. Part of this beast’s popularity lies in its massive size, which can range from several hundred pounds for a juvenile to 700 and 800 pounds for a healthy adult. The moose also wins affection with its unusually lanky body features, long snout, and awkward gait.
In an attempt to spotlight and honor New York State’s largest wildlife resident, the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce in the Central Adirondacks, will be holding a celebration, The Great Adirondack Moose Festival, (GAMF) the weekend of September 27 and 28.
A key part of this Festival is the moose calling competition, which allows individuals to demonstrate their backwoods skill of mimicking the mournful cry of a cow moose announcing her need to breed in the coming days. The competition will be judged by Ed Kanze, naturalist and author. This year, Festival organizers have planned numerous activities designed to get visitors into the backcountry, where the chances of a random moose sighting is more likely. The excursion that is considered by many to be the best bet for producing a rare moose sighting is the self-guided driving tour along the 24 mile length of the Moose River Plains Road. This seasonal use road traverses one of the most remote sections of the Adirondack Park and is an area considered by wildlife biologists to be among the best suited locations for moose in the Park. An additional Festival highlight will be a guided hike to Helldiver Pond in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest to be lead by Gary Lee, retired NYS forest ranger and licensed guide.
Because of the moose’s tendency to be most active around dawn and dusk, the ideal time to venture through this seldom visited wilderness region is shortly after sunrise and prior to sunset. While a moose may be seen anyplace, during anytime of year, a trip along the Moose River Plains Road provides wildlife enthusiasts with the best chance of seeing one of these creatures in New York State.
The Adirondacks are a spectacular place to visit. The park has many different locations and ecological settings to explore, and can provide fun-filled adventures to those that enjoy being outdoors. For those that simply like to browse unique displays of Adirondack crafts and wares, or enjoy chatting with wildlife experts regarding moose and other forms of animal life that exist in the Park, the GAMF will be a worthwhile investment of time. The Festival organizers can never guarantee that anyone will see a moose during this celebration weekend, however, they are confident that anyone who attends will have a true Adirondack experience in Indian Lake.
Photo: A moose at Helldiver Pond in mid-July (courtesy John Warren).