ADK - Cranberry Lake

Thinking of a canoeing/fishing/camping trip here. I have info on the state campground, and know of two lean-to’s on the southern end of the lake. I thought I heard there are designated camping spots at points around the lake to set up? Can anyone confirm this? Also, what I might expect on a July weekend (but not the 4th) on Cranberry Lake. Thanks for your help.

Cranberry Lake
I did 3 days at a DEC campsite on Brandy Brook Flow last year just before July 4th. Nice site and not too many power boats - seemed to be mostly people crossing the lake to their camps. It was my first time on Cranberry and I was pleasantly surprised - nice site, pretty lake, and not crowded. Go for it!

besides the State campground (sites vai reservations), there are dozens of primitive sites around this huge lake, first come-first serve. Some are on Joe Indian Island. Picnic tables, outhouse, fire pit - that’s it and free.

This is a huge lake, with some development, and numerous bays and coves to explore. On the main part of the lake, winds and whitecaps can make things dangerous on some days. On a July weekend, mtoroboat and jet ski use is very typical although by being in the southern end of the lake, you can escape much of it. jet ski use is terrible at the state campground part of the lake.

Maps and guides?
Hey, thanks for the info. Can anyone recommend a guidebook or maps that will be useful to me, that may also have the locations of these primitive campsites? Thanks. grrrr…jackbear

Cranberrry L
DEC brochure, “Trails in Cranberry L Region” shows all 46 primitive, 1st come, 1st served campsites & much more. May be available online or free by mail from Raybrook hdqtrs or Potsdam sub-office (315) 265-3090. As a bonus it also shows all campsites on Low’s lake & connecting Oswegathie River

New Adk paddlers map shows all but sites 44-46 on W shore (oversite ?)

My wife & I spent 4 days on the south end of Cranberry 2 weeks ago, our first trip there. 46 primitive sites around the lake. You will be competing with motorboats for sites. Put in at Wanakena if you plan you stay in the Southern half of the lake. I posted a trip report, here’s the link if you’re interested:

site map
the DEC brochure GlenL mentioned can be picked up from the literature rack at the state campsite entry kiosk. They are very helpful people at the state campsite.

We usually go to the state campsite, set up basecamp with the popup trailer and day trip or overnight from their. Keeps down the amount of food to be hauled along and hung each night and the hot showers at the campsite make coming back so nice.

Above it was posted that this is a huge lake. Not so. You can paddle from end to end in a couple of easy hours. It is a wide lake with lots of fetch and gets some wave action.

Lots of fish, so supper is only a worm away.

Black flies are bad now, but will be over by mid July. Bears are always there, take precautions with your food.

Good sites all around the lake, but there is competition with folks using motorboats to get to them. Enjoy it and try some of the many other great lakes in the Adirondacks.


Thanks for all the input. I sent an email to the ranger, and he is putting a copy of said pamphlet in the mail to me. Can’t wait to get out there. Will try to post my report upon my return in July. Thanks. grrr…jackbear