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Old 08-24-2010, 09:54 AM   #1
Campingbuddy
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Cranberry Lake Camping

Looking to plan a 5-7 day kayaking/camping trip in late September, after having a great time exploring Indian Lake in June. I've received several suggestions for Cranberry Lake. We've got two 15+' touring kayaks. From what I can gather, looks like in addition to a public campground (which closes for the season September 6), there are free campsites dispersed throughout the lake, available first come, first serve. Am I correct?

If so, is there a map available that shows all the campsites?

I'm assuming it might be chilly up there in late September. Anyone have any idea what kind of air temps/water temps we should expect?

Where's the best place to put in?

If we were craving a hot shower and a comfy bed after our camping trip, any B&B's or other lodging in the area that you would recommend?

Any other rules/regs we should be aware of?

Any and all helpful information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:29 AM   #2
danceswithflies
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Yes, there are 40-some designated campsites situated around the lake. Try the DEC website to see if there is a pdf version of the map available to print out; if not PM me and I'll fax or send a hard copy to you via snail mail. After the campground closes, you can put in at the public launch, but its quite a ways to get to the more remote parts of the lake. We've put in at Wanakena, along the road to the Ranger School, and paddled around the point into the Five Pond Wilderness. Be aware that early bear season is probably still open, so the leanto at Janack's landing will likely be occupied.

As far as the weather, you pays you money and takes you chances, as they say. We've had most everything you could imagine at that time of year, except snow (so far). Cranberry Lake is big, and can get frighteningly windy.

The Cranberry Lake Lodge is popular for both lodging and food. We've never stayed there. Ten years ago the food was awful, then it got quite good for a few years, then seemed to go downhill again the last couple of years. The Windfall, a few miles up the road towards Tooley Pond, is more of a upscale dining experience (though it sure doesn't look like it from the outside!).
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:09 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. The DEC website seems to only have a pdf of the campground map. I was looking for a map that we could use for navigation (topo would be nice) and locating the backcountry campsites. Any ideas as to where I could find such a map?

Any campsite recommendations?

The campground will be closed by the time we're up there, so what would be the best/safest place to park the car for a few days and put in?
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:33 PM   #4
danceswithflies
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As stated, I have the DEC's map of campsites on Cranberry Lake, which I would be willing to send or fax to you if you PM me. It is not suitable for navigation, as it covers the entire lake and is only 8 1/2" x 11. You will need the following topo maps to cover the entire lake: Cranberry Lake, Five Ponds, and Newton Falls.

You should be able to find these available for sale online. The topo maps do not show the campsites, nor does the National Geographic Trails Illustrated map for the area (Old Forge/Oswegatchie), only the DEC campsite map.

BTW, the Trails Illustrated map would be handy to have as it will give you an overview of the entire area and tempt you with nearby worthy destinations.

I haven't visited many of the Cranberry Lake campsites. The one near Hedgehog Pond (also known as Clear Pond) is nice, and the ones on Joe Buck Island are very popular.

I wouldn't be concerned about leaving my car at either the Ranger School Road location or the public boat launch on Columbian Road. If there are other access sites to the lake, I am unaware of them.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:11 AM   #5
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RE: Cranberry Lake

Thanks so much for the helpful info!! We're really looking forward to our trip.

Has anyone ever stayed/eaten at the Cranberry Lake Lodge? I see that it's right on the lake, and we were considering stopping there for dinner and/or a night's stay at their hotel one night.

Are there any other things we should check out on the lake (hiking trails, scenic spots, restaurants, etc)?

Is there anywhere on the lake to pick up groceries/supplies?
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danceswithflies View Post
You should be able to find these available for sale online.
Or you can download any topo map for free from the NYSGIS website - or for national coverage from the USGS map locator.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:39 AM   #7
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Dave Cilley's Paddlers map I believe shows the campsites and the surrounding trails & portages. Very helpful. I am looking at it now and count 42 sites. 7 of them being on Joe Indian Island. We have no experience paddling the lake. I believe The Packbasket Lodge in Wanakena now operates the store in Wanakena as well if you are down at that end of the lake.

Last edited by bethfit; 08-25-2010 at 09:40 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:27 AM   #8
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Cranberry Lake Lodge just did a remodel on some of their rooms. The food is ok, nothing fancy.
Across the street is the Stone Manor, excellent breakfasts. Their rooms need an upgrade.

The Lakeside Store, 2 gas pumps, is ok for last minute staples...beer,milk, juice ,bread,ice.
They do have nice Delmonico Steaks!
It is a bit pricey but what the heck....seasonal business.
He keeps his gasoline prices down.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:22 AM   #9
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Where exactly is the Lakeside Store? I assume, given it's name, it's on the lake and we can paddle to it? Do you know their hours?
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:06 PM   #10
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The Lakeside Store is connected to the Lakeside campground in the village.
They have a small aluminum dock on the shore near the trailer campers. It is just to the west of Emporium Marine, the big old yellowish building.
Just tie up to the dock, or the beach behind, and walk thru the campground to the store on Rt.3
It is close to the State Boat Launch.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:11 PM   #11
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OR.... You can join the Cranberry Lake Boat Club, for $25 a year and use the Boat Club dock at Emporium Marine. A lot of the water access only summer residents use this combination for trips to town for supplies. No over night docking is allowed.

www.Cranberrylakeboatclub.org
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