My spouse and I travelled to Moose Factory during the 3rd week of August 2013.
After completing our pre-trip research it looked as though the Eco Lodge was THE place to stay in the Moosonee/Moose Factory area....and we were not disappointed. Even if you intend to spend most of your time in Moosonee we would recommend the 5-10 minute water taxi ride to the Factory in order to stay at the lodge. ($15/person/1 way)
The lodge is located on the Moose River waterfront and the architecture is unique and attractive. Our room was clean and well appointed. We were lucky to be located on the north-west corner of the second floor which had windows in both the north and west walls thereby affording a lovely view of the river and islands.
At about 0430 in the morning we observed a group of 3 coyotes passing under our windows...pretty neat.
Note that the rooms are not air conditioned....they are equipped with ceiling fans only...it was 27 degrees and humid when we were there so it made for a steamy night in the room.
The dining room is impressive with a very high peaked ceiling. It is supported by log beams and is of wooden construction. The floor is covered in beautiful ceramic (or possibly marble) tile. The view is straight out to the river.
Breakfast is limited self serve continental (bagels, bread, jam, coffee, tea, juice...)
The restaurant was open for dinner from 5-7 PM when we were there. Menu is on a chalk board with several selections available...and although none were vegetarian one can request a vegy plate...my spouse received a nice plate of mixed vegetables, peppers, rice, etc...I had the Elk burger...it was good but personally I prefer beef. There were salmon and whitefish meals, among other selections offered as well....
Note that the restaurant does not offer alcoholic beverages...in case you are so inclined.
I would like to point out that the staff running the lodge is small so do not expect a cosmopolitan city hotel type of environment....for example, for the times when the restaurant is closed I would strongly suggest that one equip oneself with bottled water and some food....there are no vending machines or other source of food and drink unless one makes the 20 minute walk to the convenience store or GG's store....the tap water in the room is potable but as checkout time is 1000 A.M. this may not be an option...my spouse and I were scheduled for a tour to the mouth of the river at 1pm so we had 3 hours to kill with no access to a room.....we were, however, invited to wait in the dining room or library which we did as it was raining and we had in any case explored the Factory the day previous. Note that there are public washrooms off the dining room.
As to exploring the Factory we were equipped with a map provided by the lodge...so we took a long walk to view the sights...there are some historic Hudson Bay Company buildings and a grave yard, an old church, and the Cree Cultural Interpretive Centre ....but disappointingly all were boarded up or closed, with the exception of the graveyard which was interesting. We were told that as tourism has been very slow there was no point in keeping these attractions open.
Note that none of the streets/roads in Moosonee/Moose Factory are paved...so your walk will either be dusty or muddy...We recommend good footwear and backpack as opposed to rolling luggage....there are sidewalks in Moosonee but sooner or later one will have to cross a road.
Boat trip to James Bay: We highly recommend George S. as a guide. The Ecolodge can provide his contact information. George has a lifetime of knowledge of the area, and the culture, and combined with a good sense of humour makes a terrific story teller.
For the trip to the bay we highly recommend long pants/sleeves and mosquito repellant. These bugs are no problem on the water but we stopped at the bird sanctuary at the mouth of the river...we were on land for about 30 seconds when the bugs noticed us...my bare legs were covered in the little blood suckers...seriously....I could not see skin. We hi-tailed it back to the boat followed by a swarm of mosquitos and horse flies who joined us in the boat until we got underway....
This is wild country but if one is properly prepared, little problems like bugs can be managed, and the adventure is definitely worth it.
The train trip from Cochrane to Moosonee takes about 5 hours....we managed to stay awake on the northbound trip in order to miss nothing...however there are very few sites other than trees and the occasional river crossing...the crossing over the Moose River is spectacular and shouldn't be missed.
Our recommendation for the train journey .....take a good book ....at least for the return trip.
All in all we enjoyed the trip and would stay at the Ecolodge again.
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- Also Known As:
- Cree Village Ecolodge Hotel Moose Factory