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Moving forward with a small step back

Notes from the North Woods

By the time the sun finally reached the forest floor, I had decided I wasn’t going to hunt any more. I packed up my gear and settled on taking a roadtrip for the day, rather than waiting up in a tree like a scared bear.

Falling leaves, a bright sun and nothing but falling leaves is what prompted me to travel south to Indian Lake in order to attend the fourth annual Great Adirondack Moose Festival, an event that celebrates the return of a native (son), which also happens to be the region’s largest mammal.

For several years, I had planned to make it down for the Festival, but it always turned out to be one of the busiest weekends of my season.

This year I took the weekend off to attend the event, and I’m sure glad I did.

Indian Lake offers a microcosm of the average, Adirondack community. It is small, isolated, and has a long history of hospitality, mining and the wood products industry.

In the past, when lumber was king, logs were cut and floated down the Hudson River to and from the town. The region also supports an active mining industry, where Adirondack garnet is still extracted from the local hills for use in a variety of products including sandpaper.

At one time, the community also served as a major jumping off spot for travelers headed into the interior to places such as Raquette Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, Eagle Lake and Utowana Lake.

Prior to the completion of a railroad that took guests as far as Eckford Chain of Lakes, the sleepy little community of North Creek had served as the northern most rail station in the region. And it was from there, that vacationers hopped a stagecoach for a very bumpy 26-mile ride to Blue Mountain Lake.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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