After my hike to the top of Cathedral Rock in the Adirondacks, I decided to do another short hike in the area. The forecasted rain didn’t seem like it was going to materialize, so I took the opportunity to stop at Cranberry Lake and follow the Lost Pond Trail.
The Lost Pond Trail is a just over 3-kilometres (2-miles) trail that loops around a pond in this area of the western Adirondacks. This trail is part of the Great 8 Challenge, a challenge designed to introduce new trails in St. Lawrence County (the biggest county of New York). I signed up for the challenge last summer, but I’ll admit, I’ve neglected it a bit over the past few months, preferring to tackle the peaks of the nearby Adirondacks.
But driving by Cranberry Lake, I remembered that I actually enjoyed hiking lesser-known trails in this county last year (like those of Robert Moses State Park or the Wilson Hill WMA). And since I was in the area, why not take the opportunity to reconnect with the Great 8 challenge?
The trail head is located west of the village of Cranberry Lake (and to the northwest of the lake of the same name). There is a large parking lot, which also serves as parking for the nearby boat ramp. After parking my car, I started on the trail, en route to the Lost Pond.
This trail seeks to showcase the wetland and upland ecosystems that surround the Lost Pond. These ecosystems are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including several species of birds, amphibians and reptiles.
The first part of the trail follows the same route as Cranberry Lake 50, a long-distance trail that loops around this third-largest lake in the Adirondacks. After a few metres, the trail leaves the Cranberry Lake 50 route, and a few more metres further I arrived at the loop that goes around the Lost Pond.
I decided to follow the loop clockwise. The part of the trail that follows the eastern shore of the pond is a bit steeper (more than I expected), but I was still in the Adirondack region after all, so I had to expect a little elevation!
I was also surprised that the trail offers few viewpoints over the pond. You can see it here and there between the trees, but there is only one place on the trail where the view is clear, on the west side of the pond. At this spot, there is a bench and I obviously took the opportunity to sit on it and enjoy the view of this lost pond.
I saw a few herons and an osprey there. I also heard many frogs croaking. Proof that the Lost Pond is teeming with life!
After finishing the loop around the pond, I walked back to the parking lot. In total, I hiked 3.4 kilometres (2.1 miles), with an elevation gain of 44 metres (144 feet). And this hike reminded me that even though the Great 8 challenge hikes are a bit less spectacular than my recent Adirondack hikes, they are perfect for discovering beautiful lesser-known places!