Thursday, 04 June 2020 13:24

The Great Outdoors: Head to Moreau Lake

By Megin Potter | Sports

MOREAU — Visiting the Moreau Lake State Park is going to require a bit of extra planning this year. With its 6,990 acres of land,  41 miles of hiking trails, and three lakes, Moreau Lake State Park is an excellent spot to enjoy the outdoors while maintaining social distancing during the pandemic. Before you go this summer however, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the park’s new rules and regulations. 

The New York State Parks Department of Recreation & Historic Preservation establishes these guidelines to ensure the parks are safe for everyone. Updates and additional information can be found at parks.ny.gov/covid19

LIMITED DAY USE

Moreau Lake State Park is open daily, from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Parking has been reduced by 50 percent.  On nice weather days, the park may reach capacity quickly, so getting an early start is key to getting in. Cars parked outside the designated areas, on Old Saratoga Road or Mountain Road, will be ticketed. Park capacity closure alerts are posted on the park’s Facebook page @MoreauLakeStatePark.

The nature center, playground equipment, and concession stands are closed. 

The swimming beach is open daily 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. They do ask that you maintain a six-foot distance from one another and to wear a mask when you are unable to maintain social distance. Those not adhering to these guidelines will be asked to leave. 

Beach-goers are advised to bring their own water and snacks. 

Lifeguards are on duty and have been given COVID-19 informational training. They now carry additional supplies to be able to disinfect equipment and safely help anyone pulled from the water. 

RESERVATION ONLY CAMPING

Campsites and cabins at Moreau Lake State Park are now open to people with existing camping reservations. Restrooms are open, but wearing masks and maintaining social distancing in public areas is required.

A limited number of new camping reservations are being accepted but are expected to fill quickly. To make a reservation, call 1-800-456-CAMP or go to newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com. 

New York State Parks is allowing the transfer of existing camping reservations into the 2021 season and will waive the transfer fee until June 11th when completed online. 

New reservations are being accepted for the 2021 season, as well. To avoid long telephone wait times, online reservations are encouraged. 

FREE FISHING JUNE 27 & 28

There are plenty of places to go freshwater fishing in New York’s 70,000 miles of waterways and more than 7,500 lakes and ponds. 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation encourages everyone to have the opportunity to fish with periodic Free Fishing Days and Weekends throughout the year. The next Free Fishing Weekend, when you can fish without a license, will be on June 27th and 28th. 

Moreau Lake offers access to small, non-motorized boats and its average depth is 32 feet.  According to the DEC, this creates a nice refuge for rainbow trout during the hot summer days. The weedier, shallower northern end is good for large-mouth bass fishing. 

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