Crane Pond is a beautiful gem in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness.
How to get there
Take Exit 28 off of Interstate 87 and follow Route 9 south, toward Schroon Lake. In just over a half mile, take a left onto Alder Meadow Road, follow it for about 2.2 miles, then turn onto Crane Pond Road. Follow that for 1.5 miles to the large parking area at the end of the road. Crane Pond Road is typically not in very good condition so be prepared for a longer walk or ski if it is not drivable.
This dirt road is one of the major northern access points for the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. The road is becoming very rough since it is NOT maintained. The road travels 2 miles to Crane Pond. Hiking is the best option for travelers to the area, since the road often becomes impassable due to mud. From the DEC: Crane Pond road "extends 1.7 miles from the Crane Pond Trailhead at the edge of the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness to the western shore of Crane Pond. The trail ascends 160 feet in the first 1.2 miles to the highest point on the trail and then descends 60 feet to the end of the trail. The last 0.7 mile of the trail parallels the north shore of Alder Pond... This trail is neither designated nor maintained for motor vehicle use. DEC discourages the use of the trail by motor vehicles, however, hikers should be alert for motor vehicles on the trail."
Crane Pond is 167 acres. There is plenty of shoreline fishing available. This pond is great for bass and panfish. The road back to Crane Pond is typically not very good, so driving it is not recommended. Consider this a pond you need to portage to. The portage is 2 miles along the dirt road, upon which a cart could easily be used. No motors are allowed in this Wilderness Area. Insider tips: troll the deep portions of the lake on the west end for lake trout, use the shallows for panfish and perch, and the south side of the pond and a northwest peninsula are decent for smallmouth bass. Cast out and reel back slow to bring them out from the steep slopes. Fish species types: bullhead, lake trout, bass, perch, and panfish.
Look for lake trout, northern pike, and yellow perch. The lake trout are open season all year, with a minimum length of 15 inches and daily limit of three. Use or possession of baitfish prohibited.
Crane Pond is the most popular paddling location within the wilderness because it is the most easily accessed and has shoreline tent sites. The pond can be accessed from Crane Pond Trailhead via Crane Pond Trail. Be prepared for a portage.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
A not-oft used road leads through old growth forest to this lovely pond, offering wonderful winter scenery!
There are nine designated tent sites on the shore of Crane Pond, which can only be accessed by water.