Where is Moreau Lake State Park?
- 605 Old Saratoga Road, Gansevoort, NY 12831
Moreau Lake State Park is located in New York State around 45 minutes north of Albany. The park is officially in Gansevoort, NY which is a hamlet in the town of Northumberland. This state park is located near Saratoga Springs and Lake George making it a popular place to camp and explore.
Moreau Lake State Park is also close to the Ulysses S. Grant Museum, Glen Falls, and multiple wineries.
How Big is Moreau Lake State Park?
This park always seems to be growing. Since its creation in 1881, many new areas of land have been acquired and added. The most recent addition to Moreau Lake US State Park took place in 2018 with 131 acres of forests.
Today, the park encompasses 6,990 acres of land and is the tenth largest state park in New York. This vast area of woodlands includes 3 lakes, 4.5 miles of the Hudson River, and various mountains.
Moreau Lake State Park Weather
The most popular time to visit Moreau Lake State Park is from May to October when the weather is most comfortable. The hottest month of the year is July with daily highs of 83°F and lows of 58°F. The summer months are a great time to camp, hike, or sunbathe on the sandy shores of Lake Moreau.
January is the coldest month with lows of 9°F and highs of 31°F. This area of New York is one of the coldest in the state and averages around 60 inches of snow per year. In the cold season, the park is an excellent place for ice fishing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
Spring and autumn are also wonderful times to explore Moreau. Spring tends to be wetter, so prepare for muddy trails. During autumn, temperatures are cool, and the entire park comes alive with fall colors.
When did Moreau Lake Become a State Park?
Originally, Moreau Lake was owned by a wealthy attorney and was used as his summer home and estate. The lands were acquired by the State Conservation Department in 1961 to create a public campsite, and by 1967 the park was established with around 600 acres of land.
Large additions of woodlands would be added multiple times over the next few decades including the addition of 3,200 acres in 1998.
Things to Do in Moreau Lake State Park
One of the most attractive aspects of Moreau is the multitude of activities you can do there. If you are new to outdoor sports, make sure to check out the Friends of Moreau Lake State Park website. This non-profit puts on lots of great events for beginners including learning to kayak and ice fish.
Moreau Lake State Park has over 140 campsites to choose from and all of them are within walking distance of the beach. Camping is the perfect way to stay in the park while having full access to great trails and the sandy shores of Moreau Lake where you can swim, boat, and fish.
Our National Park Visitors Guide suggests booking Campsites in advance from May to December and are first come first serve for the rest of the year.
The forests around Moreau Lake contain over 20 miles of trails that range from easy to difficult. One of the most popular trails is the Moreau Lake Nature and Mud Trail which will take you around the lake and is an easy walk. You can also hike to Moreau Lake Overlook, the Western Ridge Trail, Grant Mountain, or up Palmertown Mountain.
From Palmertown Mountain, you’ll get incredible views of the Hudson and Adirondacks.
3. Fish on the Lake
Moreau Lake is a renowned fishing spot. Fish that can be found here include large-mouth and small-mouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, and rainbow trout. The biggest fish tend to hide in the deeper areas of the lake making it a fun challenge for fishermen of all levels.
In the winter, the lake freezes over and you can try your hand at ice fishing! The Friends of Moreau Lake State Park nonprofit group does ice fishing events every year for around $1-2 a person.
4. Winter Sports
This state park stays open year-round and offers plenty of winter sports to choose from. Cross country skiing is particularly good in the park. Beginners will enjoy the well-maintained trails by the lake while advanced skiers can head to the other trails throughout the park.
You can also choose to explore the trails on snowshoes or ice skate on the lake.
If you like kayaking or canoeing, then Moreau is the perfect spot. Here, you can relax and explore the beautiful waters at your own pace. The park also has boats available for rent so you don’t have to bring your own gear.
Moreau Lake State Park also welcomes sailboats and windsurfers, but does not allow motorboats.
6. Go Swimming at the Beach
Summer is a great time to visit Moreau Lake for the nice sandy beach and cool lake waters. The park contains multiple roped in swimming areas that are patrolled by lifeguards. The main beach even has a concession stand.
The beaches do get crowded on the weekends, so make sure to get there early if you want to rent lounge chairs, beach umbrellas, or fishing gear.
Moreau Lake State Park is a popular hunting ground especially for deer and wild turkey. Hunting here is fun and challenging. For deer hunting, only archery, crossbows, and muzzle-loading guns are permitted. Before setting off on your hunting expedition, make sure to stop at the visitor's center and get a map of the hunting zones and restricted areas.
Many of the hunting areas also contain hiking trails, so you will need to be extra cautious.
8. Bird Watching
This state park is rated as an important bird area by the National Audubon Society and contains a wide range of bird species. Here, bird watchers of all levels will get the chance to try and spot black-billed cuckoos, eastern wood-pewes, wood thrushes, Baltimore orioles, and wintering bald eagles.
The best times for bird watching are the spring and fall. If you want to see the eagles on the Hudson, make sure to visit during the winter months.
9. Check out the Nature Center
If you’re visiting the park with children, make sure to stop by the Nature Center to learn about the local wildlife. In the Nature Center, you’ll be led through rooms full of various pelts, mounted animals, and skulls.
The Nature Center also puts on great programs for kids from hiking and biking to fishing and snowshoeing.
10. Mountain Biking
Some of the trails in the park are also great for mountain biking. The Spier Falls Trail is infamous as being a difficult ride full of steep downhills, long inclines, and a combination of double track and single track. Advanced riders will also love the trail atop Palmertown Range.
If you are looking for a ride that is less physically demanding, check out the trails near the lake.
When to go to Moreau Lake State Park
The best time to visit Moreau Lake State Park is from May to October. This season is particularly popular for fishing, hiking, and boating. Swimming is best done in the summer months. Campsites and cabins are available year-round but require reservations in the summer. The peak season for cabins is from May to October and during this time, there is a 7-day minimum for bookings.
Spring is the best time to visit for wildflowers, although the trails can be muddy and wet from the rain and melting snow. Autumn is a popular time for bird watching and hiking because the bright colors of the trees make for splendid scenery.
The park is usually full of snow and cold in the winter making it a great place for people who love snow sports and ice fishing. In the winter, the park often has a warming station running near the lake.
Must-Have Things to Bring to Moreau Lake
When visiting Moreau Lake, there are a few items you should make sure to bring with you. Always make sure to bring all the gear you will need for your visit. The park does have some gear available for rent, but it is on a first come first serve basis.
You should also come well-prepared if you plan on hiking, hunting, or doing any activity that involves venturing out into the forests. This park is located in the foothills of the Adirondacks and is secluded and wild.
Make sure to bring plenty of water for all activities. List of Parks general recommendation is that you should be drinking around half a liter of water per hour of activity. If you are engaging in strenuous activities like hiking or mountain biking, you’ll want at least 1 liter of water per hour.
We also recommend bringing your own food and snacks. Although there is a concession stand near the beach, it is currently closed due to COVID-19. There are no restaurants inside the park.
3. Park Maps in Physical and On Phone
It’s also important to bring a park map with you. You can find physical maps at the visitor’s center and download digital maps on your phone from the Friends of Moreau State Park website.
We recommend having both a paper and digital copy with you to conveniently reference trails and directions while in the park.
4. Proper Hiking Boots
If you plan on hiking around Moreau Lake, you'll probably be fine wearing trainers with good grip. On some of the more difficult trails like the Western Ridge Trail and Palmertown Mountain, you should wear good hiking boots.
5. Jacket for Rain and Cold Weather Attire
Moreau Lake State Park is in one of the coldest areas in New York. Weather can change quickly and may be cooler than you expect, so it’s always a good idea to come prepared with a jacket.
If you are visiting in the winter, invest in some heavy-duty cold weather gear to keep you warm.
6. Sunglasses, Sunscreen, and Warm Weather Attire
Summers are hot here, so make sure to bring plenty of warm weather athletic clothes. When hiking in the summer, choose moisture-wicking materials to stay cool.
Always bring sun protection like sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.
This park is full of wildlife from eagles and orioles to deer and beavers. A pair of binoculars will help you identify any wildlife you see.
8. Bug Repellant
Always an important addition to any outdoor trip, bug repellant will help you stay comfortable near the lake and out on the forest trails.
9. Toilet Paper and Plastic Bags
Keep our state parks clean by not leaving paper waste in the forest. If nature calls while on the trail, make sure to pack your used paper into a plastic bag and bring it out of the forest with you to be properly disposed of.
Where to Stay in Moreau Lake State Park
One of the best places to stay at Moreau Lake State Park is in the park itself. If you don’t want to camp, the park also has the Lake Shore Cottage vacation rental that comes with electric appliances and showers.
For hotels in Gansevoort, we recommend the Adirondack Gateway RV Resort and Campground or the sweet and simple Sara Glen Motel. In nearby Queensbury, you’ll also find a Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott and a Days Inn.
Food Nearby Moreau Lake State Park
There is a concession stand located near the lake inside the park, but it is currently closed. You’ll find the best food options in nearby Glenn Falls or Queensbury. Some good joints to try include the Downtown City Tavern, the Rock Hill Bakehouse Café, and the Silo Restaurant and Gift shop.
Airports Near Moreau Lake State Park
The closest airport to Moreau Lake is in Albany which is around a 45-minute drive away. Albany Airport can be easily reached from Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Newark, Orlando, Atlanta, and Baltimore.