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Old 08-25-2019, 05:23 PM   #1
Pauly D.
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Moose River Plains Little Moose Lake attempt #1

I spent a couple of days in the Moose River Plains. I've been wanting to scope out a few ponds there. Little Moose Lake was the first one. Prior to my trip I contacted DEC and they told me there were no designated campsites on the lake. I decided to camp at one of the roadside sites on Cedar River Road.

The road is in great shape. I saw cars, trucks, and many decked out off road vehicles. There is a 15 MPH speed limit but most of the people drove like they were auditioning for a stunt driver role in the Dukes of Hazzard. Not cool.

The campsites are nice. I found one that was setback from the road a bit.



The sites all have fireplaces and outhouses. I opted to use the dome tent as I was car camping. I brought my Thermarest Mondoking sleeping pad that I use in winter. It was like staying at a hotel.



After a good nights rest I decided to find Little Moose Lake off the Northville Placid Trail. According to my Nat Geo map there is a cut through trail about 2 miles from the trailhead heading South. Found it no problem.



The cut through appears to be an old truck trail. After about 10 minutes you run into a gate. There is another gate about another 10 minutes up the trail too.



The trail is easy to follow and eventually you run into the Wilson Ridge Trail. This is where things got sketchy. The trail is billed as a bike trail but it is extremely overgrown. I followed it Southwest for a bit and then it disappeared. I decided to bushwhack and did so for about 1/2 mile. The forest got really thick and I saw no evidence of any old trail whatsoever. I decided to turn around. I know my limits.

Heading back North on the NPT I stopped at the campsite on Cedar River Flow. It's a nice site but appears to get plenty of use.



Snapped a few nice photos of the Cedar River Flow. All the campsites around Wakely Dam were taken and it was too crowded for my liking. It's really nice there though so I'd like to return in the Fall with the Hornbeck.



So I didn't make it to my destination but it was still a great trip. There is another route off the Butter Brook Trail next to site #7 that I may try some other time. Hopefully if anyone is thinking about going to Little Moose off the NPT this post will help you realize what you're getting into. Enjoy!
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:17 PM   #2
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Nice trip report and photos. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:11 PM   #3
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I've never been there but it looks great.
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:35 PM   #4
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Pauly,
I've been intrigued by Little Moose Lake for quite a while...
Maybe I'm not reading your route correctly, but after the 2nd gate, it should be about 0.75 miles to a close approach to the lake.
You mention Wilson Ridge trail, none of the maps at my disposal have that trail named (between houses, most stuff packed away) but I'm assuming that's the northerly route. That route looks grown in from satellite imagery (2019) on Caltopo, but the southerly route looks to be an obvious old road and relatively open. Were you on the northerly route (Wilson Ridge trail)?

I've been looking at paddling/carrying to Little Moose via the small stream at the end of CRF. From the satellite imagery, it appears to be navigable for about 0.7 miles upstream from the NPT bridge crossing. From that point, it's a short slog to the old road, not far from the 2nd gate.
Anybody else been there?
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Old 08-26-2019, 07:40 AM   #5
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The road is in great shape. I saw cars, trucks, and many decked out off road vehicles. There is a 15 MPH speed limit but most of the people drove like they were auditioning for a stunt driver role in the Dukes of Hazzard. Not cool.
That's the main problem with keeping the roads in great shape.
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Old 08-26-2019, 07:47 AM   #6
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I was in there a few years ago, via the Wilson Ridge trail off the MRP road. it wasn't difficult to find as I recall. The old private cabin on the north shore was still existing, but rather trashed. It was due to be removed shortly thereafter. If you can interpret the terrain from the map as you go, navigation to it should be easy, trail or not. I remember being glad that I did not slog my boat in with me, as the lake did not look at all inviting, rather shallow and cloudy gray water. But it was a nice fall day and the leaves on the slope on the far side were spectacular. I passed my findings to Bill Ingersoll for a guide book update at the time.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:14 AM   #7
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The lake does have a strange hue to it. Last time I eas there someone had tossed an appliance from the cabin (stove iirc) into the lake.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:22 AM   #8
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The lake does have a strange hue to it. Last time I eas there someone had tossed an appliance from the cabin (stove iirc) into the lake.
Is there anything different about the soil there? High clay content or something? Cloudy gray does sound pretty unappealing. Odd.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:29 PM   #9
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Is there anything different about the soil there? High clay content or something? Cloudy gray does sound pretty unappealing. Odd.
I do not know.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:21 PM   #10
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I have not been back there, but have looked up background data on the lake in the ALS Corp database. http://www.adirondacklakessurvey.org...0&pname=LITTLE MOOSE LAKE
Map: http://www.adirondacklakessurvey.org/maps/P040890.jpg
It is very shallow, max depth is 4.9 m, but the mean depth is 0.8 m. If you look a the map, all the deepwater is concentrated near the east shore in the big bay, south of the old cabin location. With the size of the lake, about 90 acres, and most of it so shallow, the action of waves could keep enough solids suspended to give it a milky appearance, or more opacity than you are used to seeing in the deeper ponds. I always figured with so much shallows there should be a heavy crop of emergent vegetation, which should then be attractive to moose. And the deep water looks accessible from shore, at least with meat rods or spinners (realizing of course that there may be no breaks in the vegetation on shore that would allow casting.) Just have not found a way to fit it into the schedule while up there yet. Looking at the various options for trails it looked like the trail from the north after crossing the Moose River, not far from Silver Run, and discussed, maybe in one of the Ingersoll books, as a bike trail, looked the most doable. Looking at SLIM, I see that this is the Wilson Ridge Trail. It looks like it could be possible to cut about a mile and a half off that trial with a 1/2 mile bushwack (if hiking), but I have not looked at that on the topo maps, and would not know for sure except by estimating distance (I really need to get a pedometer) where one would leave the Wilson Ridge trail to start the bushwack, although if one was at the old cabin site and headed pretty much straight north, it would get you to the main trail in about 1/2 mile, so you would have an idea where to leave the trail if you made a return trip. But with the way the trail passes by the lake then loops around back to it, I suspect the topo maps are going to show me a hill climb that might be more effort and time then just staying with the trail as it is laid out. I'm surprised to hear that it is not used, I thought there was a lack of biking opportunities in the mountains.

Last edited by Lucky13; 08-26-2019 at 04:31 PM..
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:25 PM   #11
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The sites all have fireplaces and outhouses.
Is it just the picture, or does that outhouse seem uncomfortably close to the picnic table?
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:27 PM   #12
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Whe we were in the Plains three weeks ago, a local resident had signed in for the day. He listed his destination as "Helldiver International Speedway." The State Police could definitely collect some heavy revenues if they set up a speed trap back there, and the road would stay in good shape longer, because it is the folks exceeding that 15 mph speed limit that are tearing it up so bad, maybe more pronounced from the T to Limekiln because of the more radical slopes. And we always have to yield and get over for them, I don't think I've ever seen a speeder slow down much or get over much back there.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:29 PM   #13
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Is it just the picture, or does that outhouse seem uncomfortably close to the picnic table?
LOL, that might depend on how well kept it was by its former users. And if you are solo, you are NOT moving those tables, unless maybe you are Ahnold or Mark Wahlberg.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:54 PM   #14
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Little moose is listed in the ALS database as having an 88% muck/silt bottom. Lost Pond west ( also shallow) is 35%. I'd be willing to wager the color comes from suspended silts. Also large surface area, south shore mainly wetlands, so a lot less needle debris and other organic soil sources, so much less tannic acid to give it that " tea color."
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Old 08-26-2019, 05:52 PM   #15
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Is it just the picture, or does that outhouse seem uncomfortably close to the picnic table?

What...Who doesn’t enjoy eating a meal with the warm fresh smell of human feces right next to you on a hot summer day?
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:20 PM   #16
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If an outhouse has been properly limed, there will be little or no odor. Sometimes camera lenses distort distance somewhat, so I'll wait to see what Pauly D. responds. When I have camped back there, the first thing I look at is where the outhouse is located in relation to the firepit and picnic table, and where I could pitch the tent in relation to the above. Next is to carefully open the outhouse door to see if the air is at all breathable and if the porky's have left the seat alone, and have vacated . If it passes both those tests, it is likely fine. But some of the outhouses are right in the campsites, likely the first hole filled up, and there were limited options where a deep enough hole could be dug (and I suspect where a backhoe could access.)
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:35 PM   #17
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:01 PM   #18
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Pauly,
I've been intrigued by Little Moose Lake for quite a while...
Maybe I'm not reading your route correctly, but after the 2nd gate, it should be about 0.75 miles to a close approach to the lake.
You mention Wilson Ridge trail, none of the maps at my disposal have that trail named (between houses, most stuff packed away) but I'm assuming that's the northerly route. That route looks grown in from satellite imagery (2019) on Caltopo, but the southerly route looks to be an obvious old road and relatively open. Were you on the northerly route (Wilson Ridge trail)?

I've been looking at paddling/carrying to Little Moose via the small stream at the end of CRF. From the satellite imagery, it appears to be navigable for about 0.7 miles upstream from the NPT bridge crossing. From that point, it's a short slog to the old road, not far from the 2nd gate.
Anybody else been there?
SG the Wilson Ridge Trail is shown on the DEC map for Moose River Plains South. The map does not show the cut through trails from the NPT though.



My Nat Geo map shows two cut throughs. One with a gate and one without a gate.



To be honest with you I think I was on the northernmost trail even though it doesn't show any gates. After I got on the Wilson Ridge Trail I continued straight and my compass heading was NorthWest. I wanted to be heading South so I figured I was not where I thought I was supposed to be. I backtracked and did find a faint trail heading South but it was very overgrown and soon I was bushwhacking through the forest. Given the fact I was not entirely sure where I was on the map I decided to call it a day.

In hindsight I could have climbed a tree to get a better look at the topography but at my age that could have turned out bad.

There is another route from the Butter Brook trail shown on my Nat Geo map. Maybe I'll try that next time.



Best of luck!
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:05 PM   #19
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If an outhouse has been properly limed, there will be little or no odor. Sometimes camera lenses distort distance somewhat, so I'll wait to see what Pauly D. responds. When I have camped back there, the first thing I look at is where the outhouse is located in relation to the firepit and picnic table, and where I could pitch the tent in relation to the above. Next is to carefully open the outhouse door to see if the air is at all breathable and if the porky's have left the seat alone, and have vacated . If it passes both those tests, it is likely fine. But some of the outhouses are right in the campsites, likely the first hole filled up, and there were limited options where a deep enough hole could be dug (and I suspect where a backhoe could access.)
You guys are too much. The picnic table was close to the outhouse. I moved it so I could back my truck in. I have old man strength..

When the breeze was just right you got a nice earthy aroma from the outhouse. I didn't use the table for eating though. It was just a convenient place to put my stuff.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:51 PM   #20
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SG the Wilson Ridge Trail is shown on the DEC map for Moose River Plains South. The map does not show the cut through trails from the NPT though.



My Nat Geo map shows two cut throughs. One with a gate and one without a gate.



To be honest with you I think I was on the northernmost trail even though it doesn't show any gates. After I got on the Wilson Ridge Trail I continued straight and my compass heading was NorthWest. I wanted to be heading South so I figured I was not where I thought I was supposed to be. I backtracked and did find a faint trail heading South but it was very overgrown and soon I was bushwhacking through the forest. Given the fact I was not entirely sure where I was on the map I decided to call it a day.

In hindsight I could have climbed a tree to get a better look at the topography but at my age that could have turned out bad.

There is another route from the Butter Brook trail shown on my Nat Geo map. Maybe I'll try that next time.



Best of luck!
The more southern cut through from the NPT is a more obvious trail junction. The one to the north looks more like an open area of grasses.

As you got into the LM area, there is (was) a beaver dam to cross to stay on the trail. I suspect you continued straight on another "old rd".
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