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Old 06-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
craig D
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Cranberry Lake - Black Duck Hole


does anyone know how many sites are located at Black Duck Hole on Cranberry Lake? i remember one nice one on the piont. the map shows 3. one of the 3 looks like it could be a bug nightmare sitting in the swamp area.

any info will help.

also... how popular are they? we are camping 4th of july weekend.

thank you

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Old 06-05-2013, 04:27 PM   #2
ALGonquin Bob
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I think 3 is right. I camped on the "bug nightmare" site (farthest one from lake) last summer - no bug issues there.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:44 PM   #3
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There are three sites.

One of my favorite places to camp on Cranberry is Camp Site #31 in Black Duck Hole; it is farthest site from Dead Creek Flow.

Have camped there in late April, early May and late October into November. There were no bugs and no other people.

During my day paddles in the same area throughout the summer months, I have observed that it can be buggy at times.

The Black Duck Hole sites appear to be very popular during the busy camping season (i.e. between Memorial Day and Labor Day).

With due apologies to Neil Young: "Keep on paddling in the free world!
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:57 PM   #4
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Site 31 isn't as swampy as it looks on some of the satellite imagery. I scored this site for a glorious labor day weekend in 2008. Of course, bugs are not bad that time of year, but July should be ok.

Here's an idea of the distance to the next closest site (campfire) across the main "hole":

Here's the launch on the back side:

Here's the "back" pond, which you have to yourself:

I bet this site is pretty popular, but if you arrive early...
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:53 PM   #5
craig D
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thank you all for you imput

very helpful
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:11 PM   #6
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I camped on Cranberry Lake last night. Yesterday I paddled over to Black Duck Hole to check out those campsites.

First of all, if you look at a USGS topographic map, you will see that Black Duck Hole only refers to the "swampy area" behind Campsite 31. However the Paddlers Map refers to the entire bay as Black Duck Hole. If you agree with the USGS topo only, then only Campsite 31 is on Black Duck Hole.

For the rest of this post, I will assume that Black Duck Hole does refer to the bay of Cranberry Lake that is labeled as Black Duck Hole on the Paddlers Map.

The main body of Cranberry Lake is separated from Black Duck Hole by a few rocks that stick above the water (but still plenty of room for motorboat access). The landing for Campsite 29 is actually outside these rocks and faces the main part of Cranberry Lake.

Campsite 30 is obviously the most-used campsite on Black Duck Hole. Campsite 31, as mentioned above, is at the entryway to the "swampy area". I noticed that there is also a non-designated campsite just south of the entry into the "swampy area".
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:29 PM   #7
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Thought I would make an update to this thread given that I just returned from Black Duck Hole on the 4th of July weekend.

#29 is very small and has a large fallen tree dividing the site into two, but open to the main expanse of Dead Creek Flow. Maybe only room for two small tents. #30 is very large, and has an accessible beach, but no sunset views and was very buggy when we explored it. #31 is on a peninsula between the larger bay and the back "hole". Surrounded on three side by frogs, as my fiance would say. No significant beach or rocks but an altogether pleasant site with a stand of white pines and associated birch.

We ended up staying at #31 From July 2 - July 4. #30 was occupied late in the evening on the 2nd, but was already vacated the morning of the 3rd. (Curiously a ranger came by and checked the site later that evening on the 3rd... and there was a helicopter doing some sort of search and rescue mission on the Flow?). #31 was vacant our entire time on the Flow.

Altogether a lovely area of Cranberry Lake. Lots of wildlife -- we saw a beaver one night, an osprey the next day, and many fish jumping. Also frogs.

So a beautiful spot. And perfect base camp for exploring the Five Ponds Wilderness or paddling to Cranberry's other areas. We had a lovely nine mile hike to Cow's Head Pond and Cat Mountain yesterday. But altogether way too much boat traffic for our liking. We woke up at 7AM on the 3rd with four (4!) fishing boats on the hole. And later that day a boat decided that the hole would be a good place for tubing around in circles. When we paddled back to Wanakena there was a parade of speed boats and pontoon boats headed out to the Flow, and a lot of folks partying at various beaches in a not very socially distant manner.
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