Cranberry Lake, New York, USA

The best of the Adirondacks is on full display at Cranberry Lake. Located near the edge of six-million-acre Adirondack Park, Cranberry Lake is one of the least developed lakes in the region. Although the Adirondacks are known as a resort area, the majority of the shoreline of Cranberry Lake is in state hands, and few of the former ‘lodges’ still exist. Instead, Cranberry Lake anchors thousands of acres of wild – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Cranberry Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Cranberry Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Cranberry Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Cranberry Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Cranberry Lake

Lake Locations: USA - Mid-Atlantic - New York - Adirondacks -

The best of the Adirondacks is on full display at Cranberry Lake. Located near the edge of six-million-acre Adirondack Park, Cranberry Lake is one of the least developed lakes in the region. Although the Adirondacks are known as a resort area, the majority of the shoreline of Cranberry Lake is in state hands, and few of the former ‘lodges’ still exist. Instead, Cranberry Lake anchors thousands of acres of wild forest lands, complete with a number of hiking trails to please outdoor enthusiasts. Covering almost 7,000 acres, Cranberry Lake offers plenty of space for primitive camping, canoeing, kayaking and fishing. The sole New York State Department of Environmental Conservation campground is extremely popular among those who want a quiet campsite surrounded by nature. And nature is in its full glory here.

Originally, Cranberry Lake was less than half its current size. The lake along the Oswegatchie River grew considerably when the first crude log dam was built across the outlet in 1864. The modern dam was constructed in 1916, and the first campsites were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression. Cranberry Lake Wild Forest occupies much of the shoreline, with the 118,000-acre Five Ponds Wilderness Area along the south shore. A few private properties are located along the 70 miles of lakeshore, with a couple of remaining commercial lodges still offering accommodations, food and possible guide service. Only two small towns command a small portion of the heavily forested shoreline; the village of Cranberry Lake is located on a northwest arm, and the community of Wanakena is on a southwest arm. Two SUNY (State University of New York) College of Environmental Science & Forestry facilities are located along the shore: the NY State Ranger School and a boat-in only Biological Field Station.

Cranberry Lake allows all types of boats, including motorized boats, although limited launch facilities keep the numbers down. One public launch site is located near the dam at Cranberry Lake village. The lake’s only marina is also located near here and sells boat gas and rents lodge rooms, small boats and canoes. The commercial lodges allow guests to bring their own boats. Most of the lake traffic is fishing boats, canoes and kayaks. Nearly a dozen canoe launch areas are maintained on the lake. The many arms, coves and bays are ideal for paddling, and several publicly-owned islands on the lake allow canoe camping and exploration. The campground has many waterfront campsites where it is easy to launch a canoe or kayak directly from the campsite. Several of the streams and the Oswegatchie River lend themselves to canoe trips, often to secluded campsites. Three public swim beaches are located on the lake-one near each village and the third at the DEC Day Use area near the campground.

Fishing is a big draw to the lake. Trout were stocked for many years, and both brown trout and brook trout can be caught in the lake and the inflowing streams. Smallmouth bass and panfish offer plenty of sport for still fishermen. A fishing dock at the Day Use site is perfect for children and the disabled to try for the big catch. Northern pike were illegally planted in the lake at some point and have continued to thrive. Special regulations allow for ice fishing for the pike with no size limit. Kayak fishing is quite popular, especially in the shallow areas which hold many old tree stumps in some areas.

Camping facilities at Cranberry Lake run the gamut from regular tent and RV sites near flush toilets and showers to lean-to campsites and primitive canoe camping and hike-in sites. Picnic tables and grills, a playground, RV dump, amphitheater and pavilions make the well-shaded Cranberry Lake Campground a fine base camp for exploring the many trails, ponds and streams in the area. The trails offer beautiful views and are one of the most spectacular attractions to the Cranberry Lake area.

Bear Mountain commands the peninsula where the Cranberry Lake Campground is located, with a trail leading from the campground to near the summit and on north along the lakeshore where it eventually meets up with State Highway 3. Other trails on the west side of Cranberry Lake village travel south along the west side of the lake. The Cranberry Lake 50 Trail leaves the lakeshore trail near the Day Use area and meanders in a 50-mile loop around Cranberry Lake, skirting a number of ponds and mountains while providing the perfect wild forest experience and a variety of spectacular views. The Cranberry Lake 50 is a favorite backpacking/camping trail for those who wish to spend several days in the Wilderness Area. Permits and regulations must be obtained from Adirondack Park staff.

Although the campground closes to camping in winter, the trails are often used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Nearby, snowmobile trails cross the area and range as far north as Canada. Some of the local lodges stay open in winter to accommodate snowmobilers, and a number of private cottages or ‘camps’ are available by the week. The nearest larger city is Watertown, about 70 miles to the west. Adirondack Park has a large number of ‘inholdings’-private properties within park boundaries-so guest cottages and small motels are numerous not far from Cranberry Lake. Several small towns in the area offer local cafes and grocery stores, while farm markets and small inns provide a fine place for a lovely lunch and perhaps some antique shopping.

One side trip any visitor to Cranberry Lake is advised to make is to The Wild Center at nearby Raquette Pond. The Wild Center/Natural History Museum near the Town of Tupper Lake is one of two museums maintained by the Adirondacks Park management and is dedicated to the natural history of the Adirondack Mountains. Exhibits allow visitors to view a variety of native animals in a natural setting and to learn about the area’s past and its future. About an hour south of The Wild Center, the main Adirondack Museum is open summers as are some of the remaining Great Lodges. There is never a shortage of things to see and do around Cranberry Lake. In fact, they only thing you are likely to find yourself short of is time.

Things to Do at Cranberry Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Antiquing
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Cranberry Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout

All About Cranberry Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Cranberry Lake

The Cranberry Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Cranberry Lake Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Cranberry Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Cranberry Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Cranberry Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Cranberry Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Surface Area: 6,995 acres

Shoreline Length: 71 miles

Average Depth: 6 feet

Maximum Depth: 38 feet

Completion Year: 1916

Drainage Area: 140 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Cranberry Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Cranberry Lake forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Cranberry Lake photos coming soon!
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  • Share this Cranberry Lake article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Cranberry Lake? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Cranberry Lake forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Cranberry Lake vacation rental or local business.

The former Cranberry Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Cranberry Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Cranberry Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Cranberry Lake vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Cranberry Lake forum group? Click Here

New Cranberry Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi