Moosefest State of Mind

Snow, sun and fun at New York’s Fall classic

Words and photos by Scott Martin

Fall Moosefest is one of the well-known river festivals on the East Coast. As Mountainman Outdoor Supply Co. shop manager Will Crimmins said, “It’s more a state of mind than anything else!” Hundreds of people flock to Old Forge, N.Y., in October to enjoy the Adirondack Park’s many gorgeous rivers before the winter arrives.

The Moose has three sections of river: Middle (Class III), Lower (Class III-IV), and the Bottom (Class IV-V). The variety of whitewater makes Fall Moosefest a classic end to the season in the Northeast to any skilled kayaker. Sure, locals will tell you, “It always snows at Moosefest.” And this year was no different. After some brief flurries on Friday, the sun came out for the weekend and the river rose to a classic level.

The jam-packed parking lots and long line to get through the first rapid on the bottom section, Fowlersville, confirmed that the kayaking community in the Northeast is not afraid of the cold. Saturday played host to the fourth and final leg of the King of New York race series [Click HERE to read about the first event on the Black River, and HERE for the second and third series stops on the Beaver and the Raquette]. The mass of competitors started above Agers Falls and ended four rapids downstream at the bottom of Crystal. Jeff Calhoun led the way to victory followed by a neck-and-neck finish for second between Jesse “Bear” Wilensky and third-place finisher Matt Young. Erin Clancey was the first woman across the finish line followed closely by Louise Erwin.

Prizes where handed out at Mountainman Outdoor Supply Co. store with Calhoun claiming the overall King of the race series title, walking away with a new Dagger Green Boat, Werner paddle and NRS drytop. The racing series is gaining momentum and sparking interest for more people to start competing. Click HERE for full results.

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