Moreau Lake State Park: An In-Depth Family Adventure Guide

Moreau Lake State Park: An In-Depth Family Adventure Guide

Creating lasting memories with our little ones is every parent’s dream. One of the best ways to do so is by spending a few days amidst nature. One of the best state parks to fully indulge nature in its purest form is Moreau Lake State Park.

Moreau Lake State Park encompasses a serene lake bordered by hardwood forests, pine stands, and rocky ridges. The park’s sandy beach is a focal point for recreation, offering opportunities for swimming, nature exploration, and relaxation. The park is also close to Saratoga Springs and Lake George, adding to its appeal, and making it an accessible destination for visitors seeking a diverse range of experiences.

The park’s unique terrain and expansive woodlands also provide hunting opportunities in designated areas, adding an adventurous dimension to the outdoor activities. In this article, we look at what makes Moreau Lake State Park a budding family destination;

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What you need to know before going to Moreau Lake State Park

With its picturesque landscapes, diverse recreational activities, and a serene lake at its center, Moreau Lake State Park provides an ideal setting for a memorable family getaway. The park’s entrance is well-marked, and a short drive through wooded surroundings sets the stage for the outdoor wonders that await. Here is all you need to know before setting off for your trip to Moreau Lake State Park;

Moreau Lake State Park on Google Map:

1. What time does Moreau Lake State Park open?

The picnic areas and boat launch facilities are accessible from 8 AM until sunset, allowing families to plan their day around outdoor activities, picturesque lakeside picnics, and serene boat rides.

For added convenience, the newly equipped comfort stations and shower facilities in all loops remain open 24 hours, ensuring that visitors can refresh themselves at any time. The nature center, a hub of educational programs and interactive exhibits, is open daily during the summer season.

2. Can you swim in Moreau Lake?

At Moreau Lake State Park, families can cool off in sweltering summers as the lake is open for swimming from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

3. How much does it cost to visit Moreau Lake State Park?

Like many New York State Parks, Moreau Lake State Park charges a vehicle use fee for entry. For a convenient option, the Empire Pass card is available at $80, offering unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Department of Environmental Conservation. But there are standard rates for one-off visits to the park.


If you’re planning to visit on weekends or holidays, the vehicle use fee is $6.00 per car, while on regular weekdays, the fee is $8.00 per car. For families interested in camping, the park offers a weekday camping fee of $18.00 per night (Sunday through Thursday) and a weekend rate of $22.00 per night (Friday and Saturday).

What to do at Moreau Lake State Park

Nestled within the embrace of hardwood forests, pine stands, and rocky ridges, Moreau Lake State Park offers a tranquil oasis for adventurous families. To assist you in orchestrating your nature retreat, we have assembled a list of things to do at Moreau Lake State Park;

1. Boating at Moreau Lake State Park

Boating at Moreau Lake State Park is a captivating experience that allows families to immerse themselves in the serene beauty of the surroundings. With acres of pure water to explore, the park offers a variety of boating options to suit different preferences. In the fall, the changing colors of the shoreline create a breathtaking backdrop for a leisurely canoe ride, providing a peaceful and scenic escape.

Summer beckons kayaking enthusiasts to paddle through the crystal-clear waters, offering both exercise and relaxation. For those seeking a more engaged sailing experience, bringing your own boat is encouraged. However, the on-site boat rentals eliminate the need to carry the extra luggage offering boats or kayaks at just $10.00 per hour.

2. Fishing in Moreau Lake State Park

Moreau Lake State Park is an exceptional fishing destination, catering to anglers of all skill levels. The lake, renowned for its diverse aquatic ecosystem, promises superb fishing experiences year-round.

Particularly celebrated is the bass fishing, with both largemouth and smallmouth bass thriving in the lake’s depths. Summer is the best time to go fishing in the park, as the deep waters harbor trout, adding an extra layer of excitement to the angling experience.

One notable aspect that enhances the fishing quality is the county’s adept management of fish populations, ensuring a sustainable and thriving environment, and ensuring that every fishing expedition to Moreau Lake State Park is bound to be a rewarding adventure for enthusiasts.

3. Hunting at Moreau Lake State Park

At Moreau Lake State Park, hunting enthusiasts are welcomed to an unparalleled experience amidst remote woodlands and diverse terrains. Deer hunting, in particular, takes center stage at the park.

The park allows only archery, crossbow, and muzzleloading for deer hunting, ensuring a skillful and respectful approach to the sport. Obtaining both a New York state hunting license and a park permit is a must, and hunters must carefully consult the park’s map to avoid restricted areas.

The park enforces strict regulations, prohibiting hunting within 500 feet of buildings, roads, playgrounds, or parking lots. All trails are designated safety zones where hunting is strictly forbidden.

4. Bird watching at Moreau Lake State Park

Moreau Lake State Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, boasting a rich avian diversity that makes it an ideal destination for birdwatchers. The park’s significance as a stopover site for Neotropical migratory songbirds, particularly forest-dwelling migrants during the spring and fall migrations, adds an exciting dimension to bird watching.

Moreau Lake State Park also plays a crucial role in supporting the wintering activities of the state and federally threatened Bald Eagle. To enhance your birding experience, get field guides from any of the numerous bird-watching societies in New York. The field guides offer comprehensive lists of birds found in the area and where to find them.

5. Hiking in Moreau Lake State Park

Hiking in Moreau Lake State Park is a captivating journey through a diverse and breathtaking landscape. The lake, nestled amidst hardwood forests, pine stands, and rocky ridges, creates a scenic backdrop for hiking enthusiasts.

The Hudson River adds an extra layer of charm, providing opportunities for kayaking adventures along its gentle currents. With over 20 miles of well-maintained hiking trails, the park beckons both novice and seasoned hikers alike. Here are the best kid-friendly hiking trails in Moreau Lake State Park;

1. Cottage Park Trail

The Cottage Park Trail is a captivating journey through nature’s wonders. This 2.75-mile orange-blazed trail begins at a parking area on Spier Falls Road, meandering along the picturesque Hudson River. As hikers set forth, the trail gradually ascends Palmertown Mountain, offering a rewarding challenge and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the trail’s unique features, as it briefly coincides with both the Western Ridge Trail and Ridge Run Trail, adding variety to the hiking experience.

2. Eastern Ridge Trail

The Eastern Ridge Trail at Moreau Lake State Park promises an exhilarating adventure along the majestic Palmertown Mountain. Spanning a distance of 3.0 miles, this trail winds along the eastern ridge, connecting the Western Ridge Trail to the Ridge Runner Trail.

The Eastern Ridge Trail offers a perfect blend of challenge and scenic beauty, making it an ideal choice for families seeking a memorable and immersive hiking experience within the enchanting landscapes of Moreau Lake State Park.

3. Lake Trail

The Lake Trail is a short yet enchanting journey that unveils the serene beauty of the park’s western side. The trail, spanning a modest 0.7 miles, follows the outlines of Moreau Lake, running parallel to the park road.

As hikers traverse the path, they are treated to scenic vistas of the glistening lake, with occasional glimpses of a charming lakeside cottage. The tranquil ambiance is complemented by the soothing sounds of nature, creating a perfect setting for a leisurely family stroll. The trail culminates at the Nature Center, adding an educational dimension to this hike.

4. Mud Pond Trail

The Mud Pond Trail is a delightful journey into the heart of nature. This 1.1-mile trail forms a captivating loop around the serene Mud Pond, offering hikers a picturesque route that encapsulates the park’s tranquility.

For those seeking a slightly extended adventure, combining the Mud Pond Trail with the Nature Trail/Wetland Walk Trail forms a short loop hike originating from the camping area.

Where to eat at Moreau Lake State Park

As you explore the park’s scenic trails, tranquil lakeshores, and lush woodlands, you are bound to work up an appetite. Fortunately, Moreau Lake State Park offers a variety of dining options that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Here are the best places to eat around Moreau Lake State Park;

1. The Silo

Dining at The Silo is a culinary delight that has earned it a well-deserved reputation as one of the best breakfast and lunch spots in Upstate New York. The extensive menu caters to diverse tastes, featuring everything from generously sized omelets to original deli sandwiches that are sure to satisfy any craving.

The Silo goes above and beyond, ensuring that their breakfast and lunch menus are diverse, accommodating everyone from hearty eaters to those seeking lighter fare.

Silo Restaurant & Gift Shop on Google Map:

2. Jack’s American Bistro

Dining at Jack’s American Bistro is a culinary experience that consistently delivers top-notch quality, particularly in its steak offerings. Whether opting for the succulent NY Strip, the boneless Delmonico, or the exquisite Filet mignon, diners are treated to a symphony of flavors and unparalleled tenderness that sets Jack’s apart in the area.

The commitment to excellence is evident in every bite, making it a go-to destination for steak enthusiasts. The well-stocked bar boasts an impressive selection of wines and spirits, ensuring that patrons can savor a perfectly paired beverage with their meal.

Jack’s American Bistro on Google Map:

3. The Merc

Dining at The Merc is a delightful experience that seamlessly blends elevated comfort food with a warm and inviting atmosphere. Visitors are treated to a menu that expertly navigates the intersection of familiarity and sophistication, offering a playful spin on classic dishes.

Whether indulging in the stellar breakfast service or savoring the chef’s seasonal creations crafted around local products, dining at The Merc is a culinary journey that embodies culinary excellence and community connection.

The Merc on Google Map:

Where to stay in Moreau Lake State Park

Inside the park boundaries, camping enthusiasts have the option to set up their tents at any of the 145 campsites available. This presents a distinct opportunity to fully engage with the natural splendor that envelops the area.

For those desiring a touch of luxury or added convenience, exceptional hotel choices are conveniently situated near the park. Here are the accommodation options at Moreau Lake State Park;

1. Hotels

1. Queensbury Hotel

Staying at the Queensbury Hotel in downtown Glens Falls is an experience steeped in history and modern comfort. Since 1926, this iconic hotel has held the distinction of being the city’s centerpiece, welcoming guests for over 95 years. Nestled between the charming locales of Saratoga Springs and Lake George, the Queensbury Hotel is strategically located for those looking to explore the beauty of upstate New York.

The Queensbury Hotel on Google Map:

2. Landmark Motor Inn

Nestled in the charming town of Fort Edward, the Landmark Motor Inn offers a delightful retreat with its picturesque setting and an array of amenities. Surrounded by beautifully landscaped grounds, guests indulge in relaxation with access to both an outdoor pool, perfect for soaking up the sun, and an inviting indoor pool. For those looking to unwind further, a hot tub provides a soothing escape.

The inn caters to various interests, boasting an on-site fitness center and a game room equipped with a billiards table. Families will appreciate the children’s playground and BBQ facilities, while those with business needs can take advantage of the meeting facilities.

Landmark Motor inn on Google Map:

2. Camping

Camping at Moreau Lake State Park is a delightful experience for families seeking a nature-filled retreat. The park boasts a total of 145 well-appointed campsites, each equipped with a fire pit and a picnic table, providing the perfect setting for a cozy outdoor evening.

While no hookups are available, campers are authorized to use generators. The campsites are organized into five major loops that run along the picturesque edge of the lake, offering breathtaking views. Amenities include bathrooms, showers, and a dump station conveniently located in each loop.

Most sites accommodate RVs up to 30 feet in length, with a few exceptions allowing for RVs up to 40 feet. Families can bring their housepets along, although pets are not allowed in the cottages or park buildings. The park is open year-round, but campground reservations are only available from May to December.

To secure a spot, reservations must be made at least one day in advance and can be booked up to nine months ahead. During peak seasons, it is advisable to plan and reserve your campground well in advance due to the high demand for these scenic and family-friendly camping sites.

Moreau Lake State Park is a testament to the beauty of New York’s natural landscapes. A visit to this hidden gem promises families a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, offering a chance to reconnect with each other and with nature. Whether engaging in outdoor activities, enjoying a lakeside picnic, or camping under the stars, Moreau Lake State Park provides the perfect backdrop for creating lasting family memories.

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