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Old 04-06-2018, 05:22 PM   #1
ceebsonline's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 11
Moose River Plains Newbie

Hey all, I'm ready to say goodbye to old man winter and start camping season '18. Anyone else? I'm usually a paddle-in camper, but I'm thinking of heading up to Moose River Plains to do some easy peasy van camping with a small group of friends and their youngish kids. I've never been to this neck of the woods, so I was hoping to get a little input from the hive.
First of all, I'm thinking of heading up in late April/early May in a (futile) attempt to miss the black flies. Is the road usually open by then? I'm sure the mud/road conditions are different every year, but would it be crazy to try getting a 2WD VW van in around that time? Would I be crazier to tell my friend to haul a small camper up there?
Also, any campsite recommendations would be great. We are paddlers, so water access would be a bonus. I think we will all have hornbecks, including the kids, so carries are a plus not a minus. A little distance from neighbors would be preferable, as we're looking for as much nature and solitude as a car campsite can be expected to provide. If we had to pick between quiet solitude and water access, we would pick solitude...we can always drive to water. I got a rather firm tongue lashing from a few in the forum once, for asking about remote canoe camping spots. In hindsight, asking for secret remote destinations on a public forum was an admittedly dumb idea, but if it doesn't hurt your sensibilities to much, a Moose River Plains campsite recommendation PM would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:54 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
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I would not count on the MRP road being opened much if any before mid-May (as is usual), especially in this still wet and cold snowy spring. I was hoping for some not unusual dryer warming weather in April, but it is apparently not to happen this year. With lots of snow still on the ground in the area and not a good near-term forecast, I expect MRP will be mud bound for quite a while yet. Even if you wanted to, you cannot get past the closed gate no matter what kind of vehicle you have. You can always check with the DEC press releases on the web, or call the supervising ranger directly to ask about area conditions.
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:01 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hogtown
Posts: 1,008
WLDRNS is right. Some years MSRP doesn't even open until Memorial Day. That said, many of the campsites between the two gates are spread out, just take your pick. You can also consider a paddle-in campsite on the Flow. There's a couple of nice ones, and a lean-to all the way down on the NPT trail.
Life's short, hunt hard!
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:13 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 24
Check out the Moose River Plains FB page. They keep updates on the road and as far as I know as of today it's closed and am assuming it will be for the next several weeks. They're good about posting when gates are open and what sections you can get in to. They're pretty responsive to questions asked through the FB page. I myself have never been there and have been researching it some for a possible trip in early June....a lot of what I hear is that there's not a lot of "serenity" there. Also not a lot of water with easy access, small ponds. Go on You Tube and type in Moose River Plains....there's quite a few videos that show you a lot of sites through out the area. Cars/Trucks/Campers. If your looking for "car camping" and still want some privacy I'd say good luck. Maybe look into some wilderness areas a bit further North....Pharoah, Saranac, St. Regis...Best of Luck!!!
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:27 AM   #5
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 348
I've been going into the plains since my father hauled me and two brothers in the day it opened, and have camped there for years as well. While it is car camping there are some things of which newbies should be aware,
1. While there is a marked spring, there is not a lot of good looking water so be prepared and carry your water in or be sure to have a filter or boil it.
2. Yes there is a road, but it is not the greatest. PLEASE obey the posted speed limits so as to preserve what road is there for other users, a lot of the moose watchers don't do that with their sporty little cars witht he yaks on top.
3. Almost all the camp sites are right on or just off the roads, but often you will only see one or two cars a day, so there is solitude.
4. Waste is outhouse or cathole, please don't forget you lime for the outhouse.
5. The topography of the area favors formation of miniature weather systems so regardless of what it is doing in Inlet or Indian Lake , it could be raining in the plains, make sure you have raingear and a fly, and carry the rain gear regardless of .the weather when you leave on a daytrip.

Just a start, later I'll see what else comes back to my aging brain.....
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