Moose Sightings in Indian Lake
by Elizabeth Folwell
North America’s giant deer once trudged all over the Adirondacks—as you’d guess when you mull place names like Moose Pond, Big Moose Lake, Little Moose Lake, Moose River and Moose Mountain. But around 1900 the draft-horse-size creatures became scarce, found mostly in the memories of grizzled old hunters rather than flesh and blood.
In the 21st century, though, moose (Alces alces) is making a grand comeback in the Adirondack Park. There are an estimated 800 adults, including family groups in the northeastern Adirondacks near Lyon Mountain and not surprisingly, several haunting the Moose River Plains between Indian Lake and Inlet in a huge pond-pocked tract of land adjacent to West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area.
Spotting a moose in the woods depends largely on luck, being in the right place at the right time. On September 22–23 the Great Adirondack Moose Festival, in Indian Lake, offers a broad range of indoor and outdoor moose-centric activities for families. Call the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce (518-648-5112) for a complete schedule.
There is an easy hike to Clear Pond, led by Daryl Smith; fly-fishing demonstrations with licensed guide Patrick Sisti; a moose-calling contest with naturalist Ed Kanze; a Rocky and Bullwinkle film festival at Indian Lake Theater at 7 p.m. on Saturday; and the Art Moose Hunt, depicting animals in the style of Monet, Dali, Picasso and Van Gogh in Blue Mountain Lake. Adult offerings include a quilt show, sidewalk sale, historic tours and beer tasting; kids’ programs range from crafts to storytelling to a moose scat scavenger hunt.
For those who hope to find a real live moose in their midst there is a self-guided driving tour of the Moose River Plains. To read photographer Jeff Nadler’s own close encounter of the antlered kind in the plains see “Moose Hunt” from the July/August 2012 issue.