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Paddle the North Branch of the Moose River

Old Forge, New York


Added by Sara Sheehy

Paddle a lazy river through a wild section of the North Branch of the Moose River in the central Adirondacks.

The northern section of the North Branch of the Moose River is a gentle, scenic paddle that feels much more remote than it actually is. Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company in Old Forge offers rentals and shuttles, and will have anything you may have forgotten. It's easy to do with two cars as a self-shuttle, but even easier to have Mountainman drop you off and pick you up.

Put-in at Carter Road, just outside of the resort town of Old Forge. Once you're in your boat, catch the current and get cruising. This section of the river never gets too deep—in some spots as shallow as 6-12 inches—and the current is strong enough that you only need to paddle as much as you'd like to.

You'll cross under a retired railroad bridge within the first 45 minutes, and after that, you won't see any civilization until you reach the takeout at North Street/Tobile Trail. There are plenty of small, sandy beaches that are perfect for stopping to eat and jumping in a swimming hole.

The going is pretty much clear, but you'll need to paddle around some downed trees and a handful of rocks. There is a beaver dam that spans the river at one point...either push yourself over the lowest point or portage around.

The North Branch of the Moose River winds back and forth, so though it's only 3 miles as the birds fly it's about 5.75 miles of paddling. If you paddle all the way through, it'll be about two hours. If you make your way leisurely, it could take three or more.

The take-out at North Street/Tobile Trail is as easy as the put-in. Make your way back to Old Forge and stop at Five Corners Cafe for some delicious eats.

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Stand Up Paddle
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