WELCOME TO THE CRANBERRY LAKE 50!
Cranberry Lake and the lands that surround it provide some of the best hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, skiing and camping experiences available in the northeastern United States. This corner of the Adirondack Park is rich in forests, water, wildlife, peace and natural beauty. The Cranberry Lake 50 (a 50-mile circumnavigation of
Cranberry Lake) is the perfect way to experience it all. In Cranberry Lake you will find authentic wilderness and you will connect to nature in way that is increasingly difficult in the northeast, if not the world. The Cranberry Lake 50 will guide you through this wilderness, through old-growth forests, past backcountry ponds, across a fascinatingly glaciated landscape, to peaceful campsites, a rejuvenated spirit, a laudable achievement and a memorable adventure.
It’s not all about wilderness. The CL50 will also expose you to a community, a culture and a way of life common throughout the Adirondacks. You will pass through two ‘trail towns’ (historically and presently very small, nature-connected hamlets). Your adventure brings purpose to these towns, as similar outdoor pursuits have for well over 100 years. The CL50 is designed to welcome you to this area and encourage you to return.
Dan Rosenthal added some comments:
"This is a beautiful Adirondack 50 mile loop outside of the High Peaks and not part of the Northville Placid Trail that deserves more attention. The CL50 is also part of the Northeast Ultra 8 Challenge list. Water is plentiful on the route and much of the route is very runnable with no major climbs or descents but there are some rocky sections and one area prone to wet and muddy trails with lots of beaver activity. In my research all I could find for the previous FKT was that 2 anonymous runners completed the loop in 12 hours."
I went for this one on 9/26/20 after a good dry spell. Unfortunately the temperature ended up around 80F and it made staying hydrated the main challenge. I brought a befree filter bottle but the heat made a lot more refills required so I didn’t stay on top of it. Result was I blew up. Even with weeks of dry weather there was still enough places to fill up. There are a lot of ponds made by beavers that don’t show on the map and there is some mud even in the driest weather. It’s a great course with a mix of rocks/roots and smooth trails. I think I would need to have my best day to be in range of this one anyway. Having that challenge out there was a good motivator. I ended up at 10:05.