Cranberry Lake 2010 Paddling Season

Saturday’s internet weather report predicted “snow mist”, air temps in the low 30’s and lots of wind. And by the time I arrived at the Cranberry Lake village swimming beach to put in, there appeared to be lots more wind. Played hide and seek with the wind gusts all the way down to the west end of Joe Indian Island.

Learned long ago that you can’t fight the wind. Hopefully using careful trip planning and terrain features, you can still have a good time on a windy day on Cranberry. And when wind gusts stop the boat dead; nothing to do but relax, sit tight and wait till that particular wind gust moves on.

Got back to the put-in in the early afternoon. The most exciting time of the day proved to putting the boat back on my vehicle alone. I was struggling to get the first tie down strap secured, when I realized that I could just wait until the wind died down a bit. Must have presented puzzling sight to the cars driving by: an old person in a drysuit, standing atop a step stool, hugging a 16 ft kayak while gazing out on the lake.

After thirty plus years of messing around in boats on Cranberry Lake, I am still amazed at the lake’s capacity to surprise, reward and sometimes punish this old paddler.

As an aside, my best guess from previous year’s measurements is that current Cranberry water temps are still in the 30’s.

Cranberry Lake sucks & Walmart is great
Mike, what a depressing story. An old guy, alone, in a wet suit, hugging his kayak in the cold wind, no friends. People laughing as they drive by. As you say, Cranberry Lake is a terrible place. Not only that, the lake is still frozen, making paddling difficult and very sad. Next time, just stay home or go to Walmart in Potsdam. It’s open 24 hours and has no wind at all. Just don’t wear your wet suit.


That’s Not the Half of It!

– Last Updated: Apr-13-10 7:21 PM EST –


It wasn't bad ennough to be turned back by polar bears and pack ice as I tried to paddle to the nudist colony on Buck Island. But to be left standing on top of a step stool, as the general public motored by, well ....

Moving foward, I will take your sage advice and confine my paddling to the wet land around the Potsdam Walmart.

However, unlike the drysuit I was wearing last Saturday, I find a wet suit to be "slightly supportive and gently slimming". And I plan to wear my wet suit EVERY time I shop at Walmart - I'll add a wet suit jacket on more formal occasions.

Nessmuk, keep woking on your beach vollyball technique, you'll get to Buck Island someday.


P.S. For the "curious" reader who may wonder at the genesis of Nessmuk's and my current exchange, try reading this:

Walmart wear…
.If you have ever gotten a “people of WalMart” email with the pics , Nothing is out of place for wearing to WalMart…

there’s some scary ppl out there. I’ve been thru Cranberry area many times…does Cranberry lake ever clam down?? The thing about the Adirondacks, plan on the wind, it always seems to be blowin.

Last Saturday on Cranberry was

– Last Updated: Apr-30-10 6:50 PM EST –

the most calm that I have seen the lake in the last year.

You could have paddled a bath tub down to Chair Rock Flow (Campsite #17). But instead of a bath tub, I chose to paddle my Enlightened Kayaks T-16.

Tomorrow, it's off to Janack's Landing in the QCC 700. However, after 2:00 pm the forecast is for possibe thunder storms - I'm going for an EARLY put-in.


Cranberry Lake is still frozen
We hope to head to Cranberry in a few weeks and spend the summer. I know it will be terrible, but, someone needs to do it even with the Wolverines running out of control. I just hope everyone else has enough sense to say home and watch TV or go to Walmart. Nothing like mid-July ice fishing for Piranha in Dead Creek Flow. The Buck Island nudists will need lots of Deet on their wobbly and dangly bits in spite of the snow cover. Ice out should be in mid-November, I’ll let you know.


The Horror, The Horror!

– Last Updated: Jun-06-10 5:16 PM EST –

No, it wasn't Kurtz; but rather, perhaps, it was Lord Franklin:

"Only the Eskimo in his skin canoe (aka Brit boat)
Was the only one that ever came through"

But then again no. Through the blinding snow storms on Cranberry Lake, I saw Nessmuk in his wee boot.

The saga continues.


Sailing on the icy Cranberry
Nessmuk hopes to be sailing in Dead Creek soon. Hope it works, check out the video.

Very Cool!

– Last Updated: Jun-15-10 8:47 PM EST –

Is it true that Nessmuk plans to duplicate basic electrical experiments attributed to Benjamin Franklin?

If so, would recommnend this Saturday for kayak sailing on Cranberry: 40% (edit as forcast keeps changing) chance of lightening and air temps in the mid 80's.

Do not fear, as it's widely reported that Kokatat Gortex drsuits will stop lightening bolts. And you will note that both paddlers in video are wearing same!

But, just in case, I'd also be wearing Kevlar under garments.


Nessmuk sails the Erie Canal
Cranberry could be sparky, hope it melts some ice.

Nessmuk will test the sailing rig in the canal first. It’s been ice out since the ides of March.

State Campground On Cranberry Lake

– Last Updated: Sep-12-10 3:03 PM EST –

has closed early due to NY state bugetary woes.

The put-in on the Cranberry Lake village swimming beach adds an extra 3 mile round trip penalty to my paddling.

However, the BEST part of the paddling season in the North Country has begun - yesterday was gorgeous!!


A Lovely Day on the Water
This Sunday was a sunny, early November day at the Cranberry Lake Village swimming beach (sans swimmers) put-in. The summits of Bear, Hedgehog, Indian and Cat Mountains were covered with a fine coat of frozen “snow mist”. The air temps were in the low 30°F range - this paddler declined to test the water temps by unintended immersion.

An uneventful kayak paddle around Joe Indian Island, followed by an almost equally pleasant paddle back to the put-in into the brisk 1:00 pm (sun time) Cranberry Lake wind express – no matter what the forecast, you can almost always count on an afternoon wind on this lake!

Up here in the North Country, we’re in for, after a bout of freezing rain, sleet etc. a period of exceptionally sunny and warm weather - Wednesday through Saturday. Thursday I’ll get to be back on the water on Cranberry.