Moose Pond: Maximum Views, Minimal Work

For anyone looking for an easy, accessible paddle just off the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Moose Pond is a must.

This fall, my wife and I went for a post-work paddle on Moose, bringing our dog Zee along for the ride. (Our older boy, Murky, wasn’t allowed to go because we didn’t feel like capsizing.) This was my first paddle since having major surgery earlier in this summer — a good choice considering it’s just a 2.5 mile loop around the pond with no portages.

On the day Kaet and I paddled, the leaves were just turning and the water was like glass. We got a somewhat hesitant Zee — who was dressed in her bear outfit due to the barely cold temperature — into the boat, and set out for a counterclockwise loop.

Despite its close proximity to Bloomingdale and Saranac Lake, Moose Pond has the feel of a remote wilderness pond. To the east, there are spectacular views of McKenzie, Moose and Whiteface mountains, and with only a handful of campsites along the western shore — plus a beautiful peninsula site on the eastern shore — it’s a relatively quiet place to paddle, especially in autumn. In the summer months, don’t expect quite so much solitude, as it’s a popular destination for local paddlers, anglers, campers and swimmers. Speaking of fishing, this is a prime location for anglers, with trout, salmon, bullhead and smallmouth bass aplenty; Moose Pond is among the waterbodies stocked by NYSDEC.

About halfway through our loop of the pond, we pulled to shore to move a nervous Zee into the bow in front of Kaet, and then continued back to the launch. Once we got there, we rewarded Zee’s good behavior with a game of fetch.

If you’re looking for a short but beautiful Adirondack paddle, definitely add Moose Pond to your list.

Getting There

Moose Pond is located just outside Bloomingdale, NY, about 10 miles from the NFCT trail town of Saranac Lake. A tributary of the Saranac River, it’s about 1.5 miles off River Road, which runs along the Saranac all the way to Franklin Falls Pond. To get there, follow Route 3 from Saranac Lake to Bloomingdale, then turn right onto River Road. After about 1.5 miles, you’ll find Moose Pond Road on the right; it’s well-marked by a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) sign.

Continue down Moose Pond Road and across a one-lane bridge over the Saranac. The road eventually becomes gravel, and ends at the state boat launch at Moose Pond. There’s plenty of parking here and the launch itself is very user-friendly.