Crane Mountain is part of the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest and is considered a jewel of the southern Adirondacks. It is the highest peak in the region, offering expansive views and a spectacular open ridgeline.
The 1.75-mile Crane Mountain Trail begins at the parking lot at the end of Ski Hi Road. It travels nearly due north up a very steep section of the mountain and includes two ladders, one of which is 30 feet against a steep rock wall.
Near the top, the trail intersects the Crane Mountain Crossover Trail which heads northwest. Shortly after this intersection, the Crane Mountain Trail veers sharply to the east into a switchback leading back to the summit and a relatively level ridge walk. Following the walk along the ridge, the trail descends to Crane Mountain Pond and ends at the intersection with the Crossover Trail and the Putnam Trail. From here, the Crossover trail returns to the Crane Mountain Trail to the southeast (0.4 miles), and the Putnam Trail continues around the shore of the pond, descending the steep mountainside for approximately 0.5 miles and turning southeast at the base of the slope to a level 1.0-mile section of trail heading southeast back towards the Ski Hi Road parking area and trailhead. You can hike the mountain in a loop using Crane Mountain Trail and Putnam Trail which is approximately 3.5 miles total.
Crane Mountain is part of the 92 total miles of trails in the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. The primary trail network creates large loops and connects nearby communities via trail and town road, while retaining a large forest interior (greater than 26,000 acres) that does not contain formal trails. There are 34 named trails on the property, the most popular of which are those leading to the fire tower on Hadley Mountain and to the summit of Crane Mountain.
Crane Mountain Parking Area provides access to the Crane Mountain Trail and the campsites on Crane Mountain Pond. (43.53768°N, 73.96777°W).
Featured hikes are recommended by DEC.
Map of Crane Mountain courtesy Adirondack Atlas.
Crane – the Super Mountain according to Barbara McMartin – is a great hike! Lots of fun with great views and a few places to scramble. What other mountain do you have a pond near the top and a cave at the bottom. As an added bonus, there are lots of paths near the pond to go off and explore other views. Just be aware that it can be very crowded during peak hiking season and dangerously icy in the winter.