For trail information, we relied on the Adirondack Mountain Club's Adirondack Trails: West-Central Region.
Goodsell Museum, 2993 State Route 28, Old Forge, NY 13420. (315) 369-3838. This is one of those rare small local history repositories that's open all year.
Hard Times CafÉ, Route 28, Eagle Bay, NY 13331. (315) 357-5199.
Seventh Lake House, Route 28, Inlet, NY 13360. (315) 357-6028.
No region in the country can boast a season more vibrant and stimulating than an Adirondack autumn.
Fall foliage provides brilliant color, but there's more. A crispness to the air, an enhancement of scenic views as the leaves fall and the absence of blackflies and mosquitoes all play a part. It's a time to revel in being outdoors.
We selected a swath of the Central Adirondacks as our focus this year. Just 20-odd miles along Route 28 — from Raquette Lake to Old Forge — offered us plenty of options for a wonderful weekend.
Our first hike brought us to Moss Lake just north of Eagle Bay on the way to Big Moose. Moss Lake Camp for Girls, noted for its leadership development, operated on this 600-acre site from 1923 until its closure in 1972. Ownership then passed to New York state.
At the trailhead, a display provided additional history, including information on its occupation by Ganienkeh Mohawks during part of the 1970s. In 1979, the state razed the remaining buildings, developed a handful of lakeside campsites and maintained the three-mile bridle trail around the lake for general use.
As a preview, we walked a short spur to the water's edge. Ripken, our Labrador retriever, waded in and pronounced the water fine. Then we retraced to the trailhead and headed clockwise.
What we trod was a wide, undulating path through beautiful forest, some of it first growth. Twice we crossed water via plank bridges. At the second, Ripken chose to do a little swimming while we rested to check out the view. To our left, evergreens framed the shore, while in the distance we found prominent rocky outcrops.