Getting to Inlet:
From the West: Exit 31 off I-90 onto Rt.12/28 north. Travel north for about 25 miles and turn right onto Rt.28. Travel about 39 miles (past Old Forge) to Inlet.
From The East: Exit 25 off I-87 (Northway) Rt.8/Chestertown. Turn left at end of exit ramp onto Rt.8 west. Pass through Wevertown, turn right (west) onto Rt.28 and travel about 60 miles to Inlet.
Getting to the Moose River Recreation Area is easy.
Western gate access: GPS coordinates: (43.7207639N, -74.7896457W)
Eastern gate access: GPS coordinates for eastern gate: (43.7264110N, -74.4749391W)
Note: A good central place to park is about 10 miles in at the junction of Moose River Road and Otter Creek Road.
See Adirondack Forest Preserve for trail regulations and other important information.
Situated in the middle of Adirondack State Park, the 50,000 acre Moose River Recreation Area which includes the flood plain for the Moose and Red Rivers and connecting tributaries, is the largest open grassland in the Adirondack Preserve. According to the DEC "these state lands comprise the largest block of remote land in the Adirondacks readily accessible by motor vehicle". The terrain varies from herb and grass plains to forested ridges and mountains. The area was purchased by the State from the Gould Paper Company in 1963 and was heavily logged just before the sale, resulting in relatively young forest growth.
The Department of Environmental Conservation maintains over 40 miles of old logging roads and 27 miles of trails, providing for days of enjoyable mountain biking excursions. There are also 140 primitive tent sites located throughout the area, many adjacent to the main road or trails. A great way to experience the area is to establish a base camp at one of these sites and spend several days exploring by mountain bike.
Wildflowers and wildlife flourish. The area is home to deer, beaver, otter, mink and and many species of birds including loons, owls, great blue herons, hawks and boreal species usually found in this part of the state. The ponds and lakes also thrive with wildlife.
The Moose River Recreation Area opens for public vehicle use on or around Memorial Day. The DEC may restrict entry or close either or both gates to vehicles and/or RV's any time the road conditions are deemed hazardous due to inclement weather conditions. The roads are closed to all vehicles other than snowmobiles immediately after deer season. When the roads are closed for any reason, a sign will be posted at the two major highway entries.
Entry on foot or bicycle is permitted at any time. All persons must register at the entrance gates. You will be asked to fill out a detailed questionaire and perhaps have a camping permit if you plan to camp. A developed state campground is located nearby at Limekiln Lake, with modern facilities and showers. Eighth Lake Campground, where we camped (about 5 miles east of Inlet on Rt.28) is an appealing smaller, quieter state campground on serene Eighth Lake with direct access to miles of additional mountain bike trails.
Note: During the summer, swimming in a cool Adirondack lake is a great way to end a day of riding.
The terrain consists of deep forest, open herb and grass "plains", woodland meadows, wetlands, many lakes, ponds and rolling hills. The often steep inclines of the adjoining mixed hardwood and pine forested ridges and mountains form a dramatic backdrop.
A 40 mile network of abandoned logging roads weave throughout the "plains", leading to scenic ponds and lakes. Often the roads are steeply pitched and rutted. You must deal with vehicles and significant dust on the popular main roads if conditions are dry. Elevation changes in the range of 1,000 to 1,500 feet are not uncommon, but most of the mountain biking is on gently rolling terrain with elevation gains or losses of only a few hundred feet. There is also an additional 27 miles of trails ideal for mountain bikes within the area.
We have included a brief description of some of the trails and roads. Before starting out on your ride it is advised that you obtain detailed trail maps and complete information.
The Black Fly Challenge: The longest destination mountain bike race in the Eastern United States, rolls through the Moose River Recreation Area between Inlet and Indian Lake every year in mid-June. The race changes direction every year with the start alternating between the two towns.
Moose River Road (Main Road): (23 miles)
Indian Lake Road: (5.5 miles)
Otter Brook Road: (3.3 miles)
Rock Dam Road: (4.3 miles)
Limekiln Lake East Shore Path: (5.4) marked yellow
Bear Pond & Red River Loop Trail: (2.4 miles)
Lost Ponds Trail: (1.0 mile one way) marked yellow: Beginner
Ice House Pond Trail: (.4 mile) marked yellow
Hell Diver Pond Trail: (.25 mile) marked yellow: Beginner
Mitchell Ponds Trail: (2 miles one way) marked yellow: Beginner or (4 mile loop) Moderate/Advanced
You can turn this into a 4 mile loop by bearing right at the 1.8 mile junction. This is a moderate/advanced section and involves a difficult beaver dam crossing.
The state has plans to widen the trails to Icehouse and Mitchell ponds to allow motorized traffic and provide handicapped access.
Beaver Lake Trail: (2.1 miles one way) marked yellow: Beginner
Sly Pond Trail: (5.4) marked yellow
The Sly Pond Crossover Trail: (3 miles) Beginner/Moderate or (9.5 mile loop) Moderate/Advanced
For more information:
Department Of Environmental Conservation
Phone: (518) 897-1300