Moose River Plains is the largest roadside camping area in the Adirondacks. It has also been called the largest roadside camping area in the United States, at least with entire road system, considered as a single consolidated unit of 175 campsites. In recent years, a number of sites have been abandoned or closed to protect environmental resources, however the supply of campsites usually exceeds even peak usage on holidays, so finding a good spot is never hard.
In Fall 2010, a new Unit Management Plan was adopted in Moose River Plains. It made the following major changes to the area:
- Reduced Drive-in Campsites At Wakley Dam to 5. A couple additional tent sites will remain. The Wakely Dam will prohibit motor vehicles crossing it except snowmobiles.
- New “Intensive Use” Area Was Created to Allow for Up to 150 drive-in campsites (tent or RV or truck camper) to remain along Moose River Plains Road, Helldiver Road, Lost Ponds Foad, Loop Road, Red Dam Road, and other Camping Spurs with spacing less then 1/4 mile. There is no charge to use these sites, you just need a permit if you stay more then 3 days.
- Campsites Along Otter Brook and Indian Lake Roads will be spaced a 1/4 mile apart, and avoid sensetive areas, such as closing the sites right along the Moose River. These sites will be primarily tent sites during the summer, but during Big Game Season, RVs and truck campers will be allowed.
The recently adopted Moose River Plains Unit Management Plan discusses some of the chnages to Roadside Camping in the area…
“The creation of the MRPCA will create some challenges in educating the public as to what to expect within the area. As the area will not charge fees, nor will reservations be taken, users will be arriving at the area without the benefit of knowing what site they may be camping at. Users will need to drive through the area and locate a site that is suitable for their needs. In the unlikely case that no sites are available, users will need to be educated as to what alternatives exist in the general area. Providing information at the two entrance points, Cedar River Flow and Limekiln Lake, will be an important part of informing users of the type of opportunity available in the MRPCA. It will also provide an opportunity to provide information on alternative locations should the MRPCA not meet their expectations.”
“Unlike other intensive use area campgrounds in the Park, amenities such as bath houses, playgrounds, and paved drives are not ever going to be considered for the MRPCA. Pursuant to APSLMP guidelines for newly created intensive use areas, the MRPCA will only contain up to 150 roadside campsites along approximately 20 miles of roads. These sites will have fire rings, pit privies and picnic tables as their only amenities. Some of these sites will remain relatively close to the road, while others will remain several hundred feet back, accessed by short driveways. A majority of these sites will be comprised of existing sites, some fairly well separated from other sites and some clustered in small groups. This will provide for a variety of camping opportunities depending on what users are seeking. Existing sites that are very close to the road may be relocated to a location that provides better screening or may be converted to parking areas with a walk‐in site located a short distance from the parking area. Any newly constructed sites will be located in a manner to provide vegetative screening between the site and the road.”
— NYSDEC Moose River Plains UMP.
Map of Moose River Plains.
There are no campsites shown on the map, and as listed below both the Intensive Use Area and other portions of Moose River Plains will continue to allow camping as listed below.
Roadside Campsites, Post UMP Changes.
These are based on the UMP proposal not implemented yet. This is considered the minimum number of sites under the new plan, the Moose River Plains Camping Area, may increase form 112 to 150 sites in the future, depending on the demand. The DEC plans to limit Otter Brook/Indian Lake Roads to tent only sites during summer season has not be finalized.
|Road||Number of Sites||Site Types|
|At Wakley Dam:
Cedar River Road
|5||Tent (plus others) or Vehicle|
|Moose River Plains Camping Area Roads:
Moose River Plain Road
Helldiver Pond Road
Lost Ponds Road
Rock Dam Road
|112||Tent or Vehicle|
|Otter Brook Road||14||Tent, Vehicles Allowed During Big Game Season|
|Indian Lake Road||5||Tent, Vehicles Allowed During Big Game Season|