When the air is crisp and the leaves are the color of lollipops and hikers descend on Keene Valley like seagulls on a sub, thoughts in this quarter inevitably turn to Cranberry Lake in the Adirondack’s northwest quadrant.
Cranberry Lake in the autumn has the feel of an outpost on civilization’s edge — a port from which the last ship has sailed for the year, leaving behind a skeleton crew of people to keep systems operational through a long dark winter.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have announced they are holding a joint public comment period to solicit comments for the Cranberry Lake Boat Launch Unit Management Plan. Public comment will be accepted until April 27, 2018.
The Cranberry Lake Boat Launch Site is located in the Town of Clifton, St. Lawrence County, NY. It is approximately 70 miles east of Watertown and 30 miles west of Tupper Lake on NYS Route 3. The boat launch is in the Hamlet of Cranberry Lake about one-quarter mile south of NYS Route 3 on Columbian Road. » Continue Reading.
2017 marks the passage of 150 years since a dam was erected at the outlet of Cranberry Lake on the Oswegatchie River. Originally a much smaller lake, the dam was built to help control the flow of water for downstream communities and their mills.
The groundwork for this was laid in 1865 when the state legislature passed an Act declaring the Oswegatchie River a “public highway.” This lead to the formation of a Board of Commissioners and the construction of the dam, which took place late in 1866. The gates were not closed and the water impounded until the spring of 1867.
According to local historians, the land was not cleared, and as the waters rose through through the trees that first spring, buds opened under water, and trees leafed out with just their tops showing, as the dam raised the lake level by over 11 feet. For decades, dead, dying and decaying trees stood in the water, making the scene somewhat grotesque. State Surveyor Verplanck Colvin wrote in 1873 of the difficulties in getting out onto the water to take measurements and elevations, due to the dead trees standing in the lake. » Continue Reading.
Western Trails, the fourth of six volumes in Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) Forest Preserve Series is set to release the beginning of February.
The guidebook includes 7 Wilderness areas, 13 Wild Forest Areas, the extensive St. Regis Canoe Area, 1 Primitive Area, and 2 state forests. Also included is the relatively new Cranberry Lake 50, a 50-mile hiker’s challenge that falls within this region. » Continue Reading.
The final Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Cranberry Lake Campground is now available to the public. The UMP will guide the future management of the campground over the next five years.
Cranberry Lake Campground is located at 243 Lone Pine Road in Cranberry Lake, St. Lawrence County. The campground is located in the western part of the Adirondack Park on the northeastern shore of Cranberry Lake, the third-largest body of water in the park. Approximately three-quarters of Cranberry Lake’s shoreline is bounded by Forest Preserve. » Continue Reading.
DEC is asking the public to review and submit comments on a Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Cranberry Lake Campground located in St. Lawrence County. The UMP will guide future management of the Campground over the next five years.
The campground is located in the western part of the Adirondack Park on the northeastern shore of Cranberry Lake, the third-largest body of water in the park. Approximately three-quarters of Cranberry Lake’s shoreline is bounded by Forest Preserve. » Continue Reading.
As usual, we were chasing snow. In the High Peaks, we didn’t have enough base to ski the backcountry, but we were hoping that a recent lake-effect storm had dumped powder in the western Adirondacks. So we called Rick Kovacs at the Wanakena General Store, and he told us the good news: the region had a foot or more of snow, much of it fresh.
Carol Fox and I decided to ski Cat Mountain, a 2,261-foot summit with a spectacular vista of the Five Ponds Wilderness. I had never skied Cat, but I thought it would be a good test for our Madshus Annums, a wide but lightweight ski designed for backcountry adventure. Both Carol and I had bought Annums a few weeks earlier » Continue Reading.
A new store that caters to outdoor sports enthusiasts has opened in Wanakena, a tiny hamlet near Cranberry Lake with a population of less than 100.
The Trading Post at the Pine Cone Grill opened this winter to fill the gap created by the closing of the Wanakena General Store, which sold groceries and basic outdoor supplies.
Rick Kovacs, who owned the Wanakena General Store, shut down in October saying he couldn’t make enough money in the winter months. He had owned the store for about six years, and said one had been at that location for about 60 years. » Continue Reading.
This year I had the opportunity to stay at the Cranberry Lake State Campground for National Trails Day weekend. Clear skies were forecast Saturday night so I brought my camera to the beach to capture some photos. Here you can see the Milky Way rising above the trees. This place offers some of the darkest skies in the Adirondacks.
Enjoy the beauty of winter in Star Lake, Cranberry Lake, and Wanakena with winter activities for the entire family at the two day-event White Out Weekend on Saturday February 28th, 2015 in the Hamlets of Star Lake and Wanakena and Sunday March 1st in the Hamlet of Cranberry Lake.
Events will start at 11am and continue into the early evening on both days. There is no cost to attend most events. » Continue Reading.
Community organizations in the Clifton-Fine area have been awarded $75,000 in grants from the Damoth Fund at Adirondack Foundation.
The Damoth Fund was established in 2012 with a bequest from Robert Damoth, who had a strong attachment to the Cranberry Lake region. Every year, a portion of Damoth’s bequest is awarded to community organizations with the support of the Clifton-Fine Economic Development Corporation. Additionally, the fund annually awards $15,000 to each of these organizations: Clifton-Fine Central School, Clifton Community Library, Cranberry Lake Fire & Rescue, and Clifton-Fine Hospital. » Continue Reading.
Earlier this winter, after several long days in the office, I went to bed dreaming of my first backcountry ski trip of the season, a jaunt to High Rock in the Five Ponds Wilderness. Conditions would be perfect. Over the last few days, we had received eight inches of fluffy powder.
Then I woke up. Outside, it was twenty-four below zero, according to my Weather Channel app. Like any sensible person, I immediately broadcast this fact to Facebook. A few people suggested I postpone my trip.
“I have skied at 20 below, but I was 14 and foolish. Stay home, for god’s sake,” posted a former colleague.
But most of my Facebook friends were surprisingly indifferent to the possibility of my freezing to death.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.