Planning Your Trip

The CL50 map may be used for preliminary planning and as a reference while conducting your hike. It is printed on waterproof, tear resistant paper to be as durable as possible. For more detailed information, and to more thoroughly plan and guide your trip, the map should be used in conjunction with other maps and guidebooks. The following resources are highly recommended and widely available in stores and online.
The first is a small, lightweight guidebook focused specifically on the CL50. The latter two publications will be especially helpful if you plan to conduct side trips or return to the region for further exploration.

1. Cranberry Lake 50 Pocket Guide, by Jamie Savage & Spencer Morrissey, Wildcliff Press, 2020
2. Western Trails, edited by Norm Landis & Bradly A. Pendergraft. Lake George, NY: Adirondack Mountain Club, 2016.
3. Adirondack Park (Old Forge/Oswegatchie) Illustrated Trails Map. National Geographic.

A pdf version of the map can be downloaded here for free

Several first-come, first-serve, primitive campsites are located along the CL50, and on the nearby shoreline or islands of Cranberry Lake. They generally provide space for 1-4 small tents, a fire ring, and sometimes a pit privy/outhouse. Several Adirondack lean-tos (a.k.a., “open camps”) also exist along the trail, and each has been  repaired or rebuilt in recent years. Please treat lean-tos and campsites with respect, and report any damage to the local forest ranger. If camping at a non-designated campsite, please remember to stay back at least 150 feet from water, roads and trails.

In an emergency, dial 911, or contact the DEC Emergency Search and Rescue and Fire Hotline at 518-891-0235. Be aware that cell phones may not work in this area, so plan ahead and prepare!
Cell service continues to improve, but remains spotty, weak or non-existent through much of the area. The higher in elevation you are, the better your chances for reception. The nearest hospital is in Star Lake, NY, which is located about 15 miles west of Cranberry Lake.
A fire house and DEC field office are located in the Hamlet of Cranberry Lake, along the route of the CL50. Sign in and out of all DEC trail registers in case you become missing or lost.

Please help us protect the natural beauty and ecological integrity of this area by practicing the seven
principles of Leave No Trace (details at
1. Plan ahead and prepare
2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
3. Dispose of waste properly
4. Leave what you find
5. Minimize campfire impacts
6. Respect wildlife
7. Be considerate of other visitors

When camping overnight, be aware of group size restrictions. Much of the CL50 traverses the Five Ponds Wilderness Area, where group size is limited to 9 (no  exceptions!). In the Cranberry Lake Wild Forest, the maximum recommended group size is 12. Even so, remember that groups of 10 or more, or groups camping in the same spot for more than 3 days, require a permit from the local forest ranger. The permits are free.
For more information about DEC regulations pertaining to camping, visit

For a list of businesses located along the CL50, click here.