by Jill Kurtz
The 2015 summer season has begun and numerous tourists are visiting the Adirondacks to explore the area. Shops, restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations line both side of Route 28 (Main Street) in Thendara, Old Forge, Eagle Bay, Inlet and beyond.
Signs along the road welcome you at each town’s line. Information centers are located in Inlet and Old Forge to let you know you have arrived and help you figure out what to do.
Tourists venturing down the Big Moose Road from Route 28 in Eagle Bay to explore Big Moose encounter a different experience. “Big Moose Magic.”
No, it’s not the rabbit out of the hat type magic. It’s the magic of what a community of year round and seasonal residents can do to welcome visitors to the Big Moose area.
There is no main street lined with quaint gift shops etc. to let you know you have arrived.
There are no signs along the road saying welcome to Big Moose and no formal information center.
The answer to the question: “Big Moose…are we there yet?” is to look for the shoes! Just past the Big Moose Fire Company, shoes hang across the road between two poles.
Some say this is Big Moose’s way of saying welcome…you have arrived.
Why shoes? At the end of each summer season kids who work around the lake leave their work shoes (or try to) by throwing them on the wire between the two poles.
Continue past the shoes and one may still wonder where Big Moose is.
The area around the lake has two resorts: The Waldheim and Covewood Lodge (located before you get to the shoes); two restaurants with rooms: The Big Moose Inn and Restaurant and Duffy’s at the Glenmore; one marina: Dunn’s Boat Service (lake tours, boat rentals and gas) and the Big Moose Community Chapel.
Continue down the road and you either have to go left or right. Right takes you to Duffy’s at the Glenmore and dead ends at The Waldheim resort. (You cannot drive completely around Big Moose Lake).
Take a left and drive a few more miles to reach the town of Big Moose. Years ago Big Moose had a post office—with its own zip code—and small general store next to the Twitchell Lake Road.
Today the town of Big Moose has the Big Moose Station Restaurant in the old train station.
The Adirondack Railroad in Thendara makes periodic train rides to the Big Moose Station.
Continue past the Big Moose Station Restaurant and you will encounter 12 miles of a dirt-covered road to get you to Stillwater and eventually to #4 road to Lowville.
But, there’s more to Big Moose than just restaurants and resorts. A few community organizations and a strong volunteer base at the Big Moose Community Chapel keep the “Big Moose Magic” going.
Some of the events taking place in the Big Moose area this summer are: The Goodsell Museum presents an Adirondack History eight-lecture series at the Big Moose Chapel in July and August.
The Jolly Moosers Bake Sale Crafts and Flea Market takes place at the Fire Hall on Saturday, July 11 along with the Fire Company Chicken Bar-B-Que.
An Art Show takes place in the Big Moose Community Center on Higby Rd. on July 11 and the Big Moose Chapel Bazaar and Festival will be held on Saturday, August 1 at the Big Moose Chapel.
Sunday services at the historic Big Moose Community Chapel take place at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. and chapel guided tours are held on Tuesdays in July and August.
For the outdoor adventurer the Big Moose area also offers numerous hiking trails with easy access along Big Moose Road.
Want to venture out on Big Moose Lake? Go to Dunn’s Boat Service and take a guided tour or rent a boat. (There is no state boat access on Big Moose Lake.)
Looking for a souvenir from Big Moose? The resorts and restaurants have various clothing and other items for sale.
Make a trip to Big Moose and experience the “Big Moose Magic” taking place in 2015!