FKT: Kelly MacDonald - Cranberry Lake 50 (NY) - 2020-05-23

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
11h 22m 39s
GPS track(s)

I started at the High Falls trailhead in Wanakena and traveled clockwise, which turned out to be an excellent way to complete the loop. I would not recommend this route in the late spring, but I did my run over Memorial Day weekend, because the long weekend fell at the end of a rare week of dry and mild weather. I’d also been getting a little stir-crazy for a good long trail run, since my work restricted me to the local area during the pandemic and I was unable to get to the high peaks, finger lakes, Catskills, or Hudson Valley where some of the more popular running routes are. Though multiple sources forecasted highs around 76-77 for the day, the temperatures ended up rising to close to 90. This route passes through some groves of beautiful giant Hemlock, but most of the forest on the trail is deciduous and did not yet have full leaf cover to provide any shade from the brutal temperatures and sunlight of the day. Local temperatures had still been in the 40s-50s leading up to that week (just two weeks previously, I did a route on these trails to Cat Mountain and High Falls in sub-freezing temperatures and in several inches of snow!), so I was not acclimated to the heat and ended up getting a bit heat sick and had to walk most of the miles during the hottest part of the afternoon. I started with several liters of water, which proved fortunate, since the first several hours of the run did not seem to pass by as many water sources. Water was plentiful in the last 3/4 of the route, but a filter is essential (I used a Katadyn soft flask). The intersections on the trail are all extremely well-marked, but there somewhat long stretches without CL50 markers and the left turn to the bridge in Wanakena could be easy to miss. Overall, this is a beautiful route with a variety of scenery and trail (ranging from road and very runnable trail, to more primitive trail including beaver dams and swamp) and wildlife (I spotted a beaver, a huge wild turkey, and several snakes and toads).