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Old 07-21-2008, 05:47 PM   #1
saveatree,eatabeaver
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Cranberry Lake 50

Finally, the Cranberry Lake 50 is finished. As of now, Cranberry Lake can be totally ringed, using a combination of Wilderness, Wild Forest, and a little bit of Rt. 3. A website has been created to publicize the trail and a patch has been created for all those that complete the trail. (cranberrylake50.org). There is even a register for those that have completed the trail on the website (only 9 have done it so far).
Soon to follow, a handful of traditional geocaches and a multi on all parts of the route.
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Last edited by saveatree,eatabeaver; 04-04-2009 at 08:15 PM.. Reason: it took over a year to realize my grammer sucked...
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:32 PM   #2
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SWEET! A PATCH! Now I have to start planning. Do you have to thru hike it or can you section hike it?
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:42 PM   #3
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You can section hike it. That makes the 50 miles that much easier. Expecially since you can bike from wanakena back to the parking area for Cranberry Lake wild forest.
Also, can i assume you geocache???
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saveatree,eatabeaver View Post
.
Also, can i assume you geocache???
Yeah, my family and I got started a while ago. We've not done as many in the past year because my GPSr decided to go swimming and really didn't like it. I just go around to getting a replacement for it and we'll be picking up again soon.
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:58 PM   #5
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Neato, I was thinking about a hike around the lake threw on that general path, but I didnt think of going back up the West side threw the ridge. I'll have to give it a whirl next year as I've already alotted all my vacation time. I love the Cranberry Lake area.
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:22 AM   #6
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How is the trail surface? Is it pretty consistent throughout? Has anyone noticed that sections might be prone to flooding? Has anyone gathered the elevation gain and loss totals?
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:15 PM   #7
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the trail surface is well traveled and neat. As for flooding, I can only know first hand of the trails near wanakena/cat mtn. They are quite flooded due to a little beaver activity and a lot of rain.
Elevation change is minimal. Curtis mountain requires some climbing and trails near west inlet requires some switchbacking on the way down. As for total change, not enough to worry about.
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I think that they should host a survivor in the Adirondacks. Both teams get a over under rifle shotgun, box of matches, and a petersons edible plants field guide.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:38 PM   #8
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I've done all but one short trail segment over the years, but it looks like I'll be doing the entire loop--roads and all--sometime this fall. The problem is I'll probably only have three days at most, so I'll be hiking fast and light. Fortunately, since I've explored portions of that area many times before, I won't feel like I'm rushing it too much. I'm hoping for cool, sunny weather!

From what I saw last year, there are a few portions in the Sucker Brook region that were vague and not particularly well signed. And the sections near the Oswegatchie River are perennially prone to beaver flooding.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:55 PM   #9
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I think this Cranberry Lake 50 trail is a GREAT idea. Primarily for the Cranberry Lake / Wanakena area which I'm sure would welcome the extra tourism revenue but also a great alternative for hikers looking for a "long distance" trail doable in a long weekend (a really short weekend if your name is RC...) or a nice loop away from the High Peaks region and the crowds that go along with it.

I was planning my second section (Piseco to Wakely Dam) of the Northville-Placid trail this fall (3rd week of September) but I've decided to switch and hike the Cranberry Lake 50. It's not often a new trail opens up and offers you the chance to to be one of the first few to hike it. I understand most of the trail (except for a 2 mile stretch) is well established but hey, you get a patch!!! Hehehehehe. I guess I'll do my next section of the NP trail next fall but I might switch to Lake Placid - Shattuck Clearing because I want to see Duck Hole before it disappears for ever.

Anyway, I'm planning to pick up the National Geographic Illustrated Trail map for the area and I do own the 1997 edition of the ADK (#2) guide to the Northern region which covers part of the trail but can someone recommend a single guide book which describes all the individual trails included in the CL50? Does anyone here have a spreadsheet or other file(s) with detailed mileage info and is willing to share it? There is some decent info available on the CL50 website if you follow the "Trail Description" link but I usually like to have as much detailed (accurate) data as possible before I hit the trail. Good (legal) campsites, lean-to's, groundwater springs, interesting views or natural formations, unusual flora etc.

I'm also interested in finding a good place to rest for a day after the hike. What's the best place for a shower, a beer (or two), a good meal and a place to sleep ( in that particular order...)? I was thinking of getting a campsite at the state campground and go to the Cranberry lodge to eat but I'd be interested in knowing about a cheap motel or B&B you can recommend.

I would appreciate any help from the knowledgeable members of this forum.

Cheers!
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:52 PM   #10
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Mr/Ms Buster Bear

Info to follow applies not only to apres paddling, but to apres hiking as well.

Wade through the post, the info you need is there

http://adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=8262

Enjoy
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buster Bear View Post
...but can someone recommend a single guide book which describes all the individual trails included in the CL50? ... Good (legal) campsites, lean-to's, groundwater springs, interesting views or natural formations, unusual flora etc.
Yes.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:15 PM   #12
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Nicely put, Bill (always a man of few words).
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:26 PM   #13
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Hey Bill,

I have placed an order for your book. You should have at least included a recommendation for a guide from a competitor to make it fair. Just kidding! I've been reading these forums for a while now and I always find your posts (and pictures) quite interesting/informative and to the point. I trust your knowledge & judgment and I'm convinced this guide will answer all my questions. I just hope it will arrive to my Canadian home in time for the hike.

MikeT:

Thanks for the info. I'll make sure to call around before heading out.

All:

I'm planning 4 to 5 days to complete it at a leisurely pace and want to take it easy on the first day (about 10 miles). If I start at the Burntbridge pond trailhead, that sees me in the Dog Pond area on the first night. Any campsite(s) in the vicinity? None of the info I've been able to find up to now indicate a legal campsite at Dog Pond. Should I start at the Peavine Trailhead, do the 6 mile road walk and find a spot at Brandy Brook or a little further on the Dog Pond Loop trail? What are my chances to to find available campsites on the 3rd Monday of September and for the rest of the week?

What are your favorite campsites along this route?

Cheers!
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Hey Bill,

I have placed an order for your book. You should have at least included a recommendation for a guide from a competitor to make it fair. Just kidding!
You mentioned you already had the ADK Northern guide, and that's the only other hiking guidebook I know about for the Cranberry Lake region.

The book went out in this morning's mail, so now it's in the hands of the Post Office. I doubt it will take very long to get up your way--a couple days, anyway.

You should find the campsite information you're looking for in the book, as there are several prominent sites strung along almost the entire route. Hiking mid-week in September you should have them all to yourself (no guarantees) except for High Falls, where I almost always bump into at least one other group. There are convenient sites located at Brandy Brook Flow, East Inlet, Curtis Pond, Irish Pond, Dog Pond, Chair Rock Flow, Olmstead Pond, Cowhorn Pond, Cat Mountain Pond, Glasby Pond, High Falls, Ross Rapids (Oswegatchie River), High Rock, and Inlet Flow. All of these should be easily found from the trail.

I would recommend going through the Cranberry Lake Campground rather than using the Burntbridge trailhead--this will save you some road walking. The campground is open in the fall so you might have to pay an entrance fee, but if you park there you can justify the fee by availing yourself of the campground showers at the end of your hike.

I think 5 days is the perfect amount of time for this loop, especially for people new to the area. There is a lot to see.

I have been wondering the best way to tackle the road walks myself on my trip. I might do the loop counter-clockwise, starting at the campground and walking through Cranberry Lake and Wanakena the first day. This way I'll be entirely in the woods for the final two days.
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:55 PM   #15
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Thanks Bill!!!! I appreciate the prompt service. I'm looking forward to having the book in hand so I can resume the planning phase. That's where (almost) half the fun is after all... Glad to know I won't have to worry about finding a campsite!

I will check with the state campground to see how much they will charge me to park the car for five days. Given the fact I will spend a night there before the drive back home, I hope they would give me some kind of a break. Not much of a difference in road walk distance though. Using the ADK map, I calculated approx 1/4 mile (as the crow flies) difference between using the Burntbridge trailhead and the campground as a starting point. Granted, the traffic is way lighter on the Lone Pine/Campground road but hardtop/gravel will wreak the same havoc on my feet and knees and I'll have to pack light walking shoes or use my somewhat heavier sport sandals. The trail walk is also longer (assuming you mean using the Bear Mountain trail to reach the CL50) than just using the Burntbridge trailhead. Maybe I can get someone to taxi me between La Fountain Bay & the campground

I'm also toying with the idea of stashing a bike at the Peavine trailhead for the ride back to the campground or Burntbridge trailhead. How safe is it to leave my (expensive) bike near the trailhead for five days and then leave my backpack unattended for the hour or so required for me to bike to my car and drive back to pick up the pack? How safe would my car be at the trailhead? The longest time I've left my vehicle unattended in the adirondacks was for 3 nights at the Piseco town garage. I was a bit worried at first since it was right by the highway but nothing happened.

I'm still interested in hearing about the forum member's favorite campsites, points of interest and other suggestions.

Cheers!
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:05 AM   #16
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Area trails can be characterized as wet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdRiverRun View Post
How is the trail surface? Is it pretty consistent throughout? Has anyone noticed that sections might be prone to flooding? Has anyone gathered the elevation gain and loss totals?
I grew up near CL. and did my first hiking out of Wanakena. The area is mostly gentle terrain, with much flat terrain prone to regular flooding and unscheduled beaver flooding(beavers are APA exempt) The old truck trail, which is part of the CL 50, has numerous beaver dams along it, and at times that trail is part of the dam for long, wet sections. I completed the CL 50 earlier this month, and found other sections of it to be similar.
In addition, many sections of the route have ferns and grasses growing over the tread. Evening dew, morning dew, and any recent rain make these wet enough to soak you above the boots, and even above gaiters. The water then runs down into your boots. Plan on wet feet for a large part of the route. Got waterproof boots? Plan on wet feet...
The driest section would be the Sixmile Creek Trail, which is on an esker. But just before getting to that trail after completing the Olmstead Pond Loop, [the info on the CL 50 site makes that loop seem optional, but it's a beautiful section, with views of 2 or 3 ponds. Also, if you're interested in the 50 mile aspect, I think the loop is necessary to get in the full 50.] assuming a clockwise route, there's a stream (Olmstead P. outlet?) with no good place to cross, so you might find yourself on the dry esker with wet feet.
It's the Adirondacks, but it's not mountains.
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saveatree,eatabeaver View Post
You can section hike it. That makes the 50 miles that much easier. Expecially since you can bike from wanakena back to the parking area for Cranberry Lake wild forest.
According to the CL 50 site, you can hike, bike, or drive from the northern t/h of the Peavine Swamp Tr., that's at Rt. 3, not Wanakena. I don't remember the classification of the forest along the PS Trail, so I don't know if it's legal to bike the PST from Wanakena to Rt. 3. Even if it is, the official site doesn't give that as an option. They're giving us a big enough break as it is by allowing us to bike or drive the 5.6 miles between the PS t/h and the Burntbridge Pd. t/h.
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Old 08-24-2008, 01:55 AM   #18
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Buster,
Bear canisters are not required in that area, so don't bother packing any food!
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I will check with the state campground to see how much they will charge me to park the car for five days. Given the fact I will spend a night there before the drive back home, I hope they would give me some kind of a break. Not much of a difference in road walk distance though. Using the ADK map, I calculated approx 1/4 mile (as the crow flies) difference between using the Burntbridge trailhead and the campground as a starting point
Several years ago I did numerous day hikes on the Dog Pond Loop starting from the Burntbridge t/h. I came out after dark every time, but never had any vandalism or break-ins. I also did one or two overnight trips with no problem. I've never had any problems parking at the Wanakena t/h's. I haven't heard of others having problems either, but I'm sure it's happened. For this trip, I parked behind the CL Library and Town Hall. There's lots of parking back there for cars w/ boat trailers, and I guess snowmobile trailers later on. No problem there. Also, the CL Library is located EXACTLY in t he middle of that 5.6 mile stretch of Rt.3, so it's a good way to break up the road walk. 2.8 miles of road at the beginning of the first day, and 2.8 miles of road at the end of the last day.
Quote:
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I'm also toying with the idea of stashing a bike at the Peavine trailhead for the ride back to the campground or Burntbridge trailhead. How safe is it to leave my (expensive) bike near the trailhead for five days and then leave my backpack unattended for the hour or so required for me to bike to my car and drive back to pick up the pack? How safe would my car be at the trailhead?
I originally thought of stashing a bike in the woods near that t/h, just in case my legs were hurting really bad. In the end I didn't bother. But if you're willing to stash it far enough off the trail, it should be secure. I was going to lock it to a tree too. Parking at the Rt. 3 trailhead of the PST: The parking area is far enough off the road to no longer be visible from the road. That may make it less secure. Also, FWIW, the t/h sign is about 0.1 mile west of an auto rest stop. People at the stop may want to stretch their legs and check out the t/h. How safe will the pack be? Again, nobody will find it if it's well off the trial. I didn't happen to see any rodents on the whole trip, but past results not indicative of future performance. That late in the trip, you shouldn't have much food left, so maybe you could remove it all from the pack and bike with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buster Bear View Post
I'm still interested in hearing about the forum member's favorite campsites, points of interest and other suggestions.
The section from Dog Pond clockwise to Chair Rock Flow was all new to me. Most of it was along an old dirt road, but at a point just under a mile from CRF, I realized it had narrowed into a footpath again, and I was in the middle of a thinly wooded area full of ferns and club moss. That was a beautiful spot, perhaps my favorite of the whole route. The Olmstead Pond loop ran close to the pond for what seemed like more than halfway around the pond. Very nice. I didn't visit the Cowhorn Pd. l/t on this trip, but I was there once before. A great spot! High Falls: a great spot, but disappointing if you don't understand that "High" is relative. It may be the highest falls on the Oswegatchie, but it's not very high. It's a great place to take it dip, with lots of rocks to bask on. The upper l/t is very popular. The lower one is on the other side of the river, and there's no really good place to cross, especially with a full pack. Canoeists are most likely to use that one.
It's getting late, so I'll limit myself to 2 more items. Cat Mtn. would be a 1.5 mile r/t detour. Lot's of open ledges on summit. Used to have a tower. Views of miles and miles of rolling wilderness. It may be possible to make out one road, and maybe the Wanakena fire tower (which used to be on Tooley Pond Mtn.) The only artificial feature I'm sure you can see is a cliff which is the upper part of the former Jones & Laughlin iron ore mine near Star Lake. Basically, just lots of wilderness for 360 degrees.
Communication: WiFi hot-spot behind the CL library. I think they keep it turned on 24/7. You may see someone out back with a laptop. It's that or a pay phone for contacting someone. Cell phones are worthless in that region, though that may change in the next 6-18 months.
Good night.
Mark
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:21 PM   #19
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Nice hike and I thought you were "just" a hunter.
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:55 PM   #20
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Official website, Cranberry Lake 50.

http://cranberrylake50.org/
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