Moss Lake

The wildlife viewing platform is a great way to experience Moss Lake.
The wildlife viewing platform is a great way to experience Moss Lake.
Fine birding at Moss Lake.
Fine birding at Moss Lake.
Hiking the trail on the Moss Lake loop.
Hiking the trail on the Moss Lake loop.


327 Big Moose Rd
Inlet, NY 13360

Moss Lake is a beautiful place for a picnic, a hike, a cross-country ski, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing! 

Moss Lake was the site of the Moss Lake Camp for Girls from 1923 until 1972. A historical sign tells the story at the trailhead. 

How to get there

Starting in Inlet, head south on Route 28 for 2 miles toward Eagle Bay. From the intersection of Route 28 and Big Moose Road, turn right onto Big Moose Road. Continue for a bit over 2-miles to the parking area on the left. There is plenty of parking year-round. There is a second parking lot just a minute further down the road reserved for handicap accessible parking only. 

By the numbers

  • Distance (loop around the lake): 2.5 miles
  • Distance from main parking area to lake: 0.1 miles
  • Elevation gain/ loss: the trail rolls up and down throughout the hike gaining and losing about 150 feet total.


Hiking in a counterclockwise direction from the main parking lot, the trail remains on a flat course as it passes through the Fulton Chain Wild Forest. Around 0.15 miles, you will pass the handicap accessible parking. In another 0.10 miles you will find the first of two handicap accessible campsites. Near this one is a wildlife viewing platform that overlooks Moss Lake. At 0.5 miles there is another accessible campsite.

The trail remains very mellow as it travels through an attractive forest. Around 0.7 miles, stop to look at a large yellow birch growing on top of a boulder. At 1 mile and 1.25 miles, cross over small bridges. (The second one has great views.) At 1.8 miles, there is a junction with a trail from Sis and Bubb Lakes. Stay straight here to remain on the Moss Lake Trail. Just after this intersection you will cross another bridge before returning to your vehicle at 2.5 miles.

The trail swings near the lake on the north side, but stays mostly in the woods on the southern end. If you just want to see the lake and move onto your next destination, there is a 0.1 mile trail leading directly to the lake from the main parking lot. 

Moss Lake in winter

This is an excellent snowshoe or cross-country ski! There are not big hills to navigate and the path is mostly mellow and flat. The parking lot is plowed in winter and gets regular use.

Fishing and paddling

Here, you likely won’t see any other paddlers on the water but an easy hand launch can be found near the parking lot. This is a good place for a paddle in solitude! Moss Lake is home to brook trout, so cast a line while you’re out paddling! Carry a canoe or kayak the 0.1 miles to the lake or fish from shore. 


There are many designated campsites around Moss Lake, two of which are accessible. Most have privies adjacent to the sites.

Mountain biking

This is one of only a few designated mountain biking trails in the Fulton Chain Wild Forest. There are gently rolling double track hills for mountain bikes.

Horseback riding

This is the only designated horseback riding trail in the entire Fulton Chain Wild Forest. If coming here to ride, please have proof of a current negative Coggins certificate. Out-of-state horse owners are required to have a 30-day health certificate.


The 16,028-acre Fulton Chain Wild Forest is home to hundreds of bird species, including raptors like the Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Great-Horned Owl, and Osprey; water birds like the Common Loon and the Great Blue Heron; iconic game birds like the Wild Turkey; and songbird species like the Eastern Bluebird. 


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