Cranberry Lake 50 (ADKs)

Posted by jm on

This past weekend I hiked the Cranberry Lake 50 in the northern Adirondacks. I hiked about 54 miles with side trails. The trail loops around the lake, with about 8 miles of roadwalking. The weather was incredible and the colors were near peak. The trail is pretty easy, with some hilly sections, lots of streams, ponds, wetlands, big rocks, and of course, beaver dams. I had to walk over the top of them, besides them, and through them. The trail does not spend a lot of time along its namesake lake. Highlights included Olmstead Pond, High Falls, and Cat Mtn. Cat Mtn. is reached by a side trail and it is worth the hike. The mountain offers tremendous views, notable as it overlooks a vast wilderness with no signs of development. A sea of red and orange covered the hills. It was impressive. I also took a side hike to High Falls, which weren't that high but scenic nonetheless. There were several campsites and a lean-to nearby. The trail followed an old railroad grade along the Oswegatchie River plains, with its meandering channel and extensive wetlands. Here, the trail was often grown over, with brush covering the treadway. There were also three beaver dams that I had to traverse along this grade. Conditions weren't that muddy and there were relatively few bugs. I heard lots of loons, owls, and beavers slapping the water. Overall, it was a very nice hike.