Looking for a delightful family hike in the Adirondack Mountains? Hannah and I have the 2.5 miles Moss Lake Trail for you. To get to the trailhead, go north from the New York Thruway at Utica, head a simple 47 miles to touristy Old Forge. Continue on route 28 for nine miles to the well-marked left turn onto Big Moose Road where two plus miles later you will find the Moss Lake trailhead on your left.
Assembling with three dozen others for a guided tour by Geof Longstaff, the son of the founder of the Moss Lake Camp for Girls, we have come this first week of August to where Hannah spent six summers as a teenager, first as a camper, and later as counselor/water skiing instructor.
If you come in early August, you too can take this three hour, mellow hike/tour. Contact the Town of Webb Historical Association. Click here for their website. Geof was at the top of his game.
Other campers from the 1960s have joined us including Karen, a dear friend to this day. Check out this roster of activities at this camp: classes in horseback riding, tennis, swimming, water skiing, fencing, canoeing, ballet, sailing, archery, and riflery (pictures from back in the day below). Girls were divided into two teams, the Blue team competing against the Gray team.
Hannah was regularly the captain of the Gray team and Suzie the captain of the Blue. Suzie would beat Hannah in the tennis finals while Hannah would outswim Suzie. They each were Honor Girls for being ones whom the other campers looked up to.
Well, it turns out Suzie is here today, the niece of Dr. George Longstaff, the founder. In his introduction, Geof introduces Suzie as the top athlete years ago at camp. And then Suzie, does a a Suzie thing, which indeed, is a Hannah thing.
Suzie speaks up for all to hear and says very humbly that Hannah was right there with her athletically. I am so pleased for Hannah to get the brief recognition that often gets left unspoken.
You see, those six summers at Moss Lake were when Hannah learned she was really good at sports, people genuinely liked her, and she had something unique to offer the world (i.e. herself!). She was acknowledged and celebrated for who she was and who she could become. In her own words, I didn’t know then, but now I realize that I discovered parts of myself at Moss Lake that might have remained undiscovered for years.
And now back to the Moss Lake Trail which is almost entirely shaded, basically level with a hillock or two. Enjoy the pictures of the Moss Lake Trail and then the historical pictures from the past of this girls’ camp, home to Hannah’s Coming of Age.
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Moss Lake photographs from back in the day (1935-1972)
A former Moss Lake camper got in touch with me after reading this blog and provided this additional information about the death of Eleanor Roosevelt’s granddaughter, Sally Roosevelt. Hannah was on the hike when this accident happened in 1960!
Aloha, Dan & Hannah – Came across your blog via the Moss Lake facebook page and enjoyed your Moss Lake hike post. I was a Moss Lake Camper in the 60s and early 70s. However, it was this story that I wanted to share after reading your recently posted Eleanor Roosevelt quote. https://www2.gwu.edu/~erpapers/myday/displaydoc.cfm?_y=1960&_f=md004825
ER’s granddaughter, Sally, was a camper who was injured in a fall from a horse, a very unfortunate accident. Eleanor Roosevelt wrote about it in her diary which I came across online.