Loop Hike up Crane Mountain
It was the fourth of July weekend 2005, and my friends and I decided to take a road trip from Washington DC to the Adirondack Mountains of New York to do some camping and hiking. Crane Mountain would be our first hike.
July 2, 2005 we made it to Warrensburg, NY (240 miles from Lackawanna State Park where we had camped the night before) in time for an awful lunch at a local diner. Next it was on to the trailhead for Crane Mountain. Even though a few members of our group of seven had hiked Crane before, and even though we had maps and directions from the Internet, we had a heck of a time locating the trailhead, accompanied by quite a bit of bickering.
The last section of the dirt road to the parking lot was full of large puddles and we worried, in vain, that we might get stuck. Alas we were finally out of the car, and hiking up the surprisingly steep trail to the top of Crane Mountain. We opted for the shortest route to the top which is only 1.4 miles but with an overall vertical gain of about 1150 ft. Along the way we got to climb two ladders; the first was 6 ft tall and the second, which took us to the peak, was 15 ft tall.
Five of the members of our large group arrived on top all about the same time, where we waited for and wondered what had happened to Erin and Rachel. We finally concluded that they must have turned around, and were waiting back at the cars. Just as we were about to begin the remaining 2.5 miles of our loop hike, I heard a voice that sounded like Erin’s. So I yell out to our two lost members, and gratefully we received a response back, learning that they were at the base of the second ladder.
With our group reassembled, down we went, on the other side of the mountain toward the pond. After about a mile we reached the peaceful and isolated Crane Mountain pond. Parley was up for a swim, but the majority felt we had better get back to the cars and find a place to camp before it got too late. So we descended from the lake and eventually we came to a fire road which we turned left on to, and followed to the puddle riddled dirt road, just below the parking lot. Dusk was not far away.
Crane mountain was a fun, short hike. The peak offered views of Lake George, as well as views of Speculator, Snowy and several other mountains. On the horizon we could also distantly see the Adirondack High Peaks. Perhaps we could see Vermont's Green Mountains in the very distant horizon as well. Doing the 4.9 mile loop hike via the pond was well worth the slightly extra effort.