Dan and Hannah Hike the Moss Lake Trail in the Adirondacks of New York

Moss trail around the lake

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.

Moss trail Geo on trail

Geof Longstaff, tour guide, on the Moss Lake Trail

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.

Moss trail H and Karen P

Hannah with Karen, the reason Hannah came to this reunion.  Karen was a camper when Hannah was a counselor at the Moss Lake Camp for Girls

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.

Moss trail H and Suzie

Hannah with Suzie with Moss Lake in the background

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.

Moss trail H at lake

Moss Lake Hannah

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.

Moss trail by outlet

Moss Lake from the outlet stream bridge

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.

(Consider commenting on this blog so I know you are out there.)




Moss trail outlet better

Geof speaking to the assembled hikers at the bridge over the outlet to Moss Lake

Moss trail group picture

Moss Lake campers, family, and counselors

Moss Lake photographs from back in the day (1935-1972)

Moss archery better


Moss horses even more


Moss tennis


Moss fencing


Moss canoes


Moss main house