Located in the eastern edge of the Town of Clifton NY. Cranberry Lake, received it's name from extensive cranberry bogs it once contained. This remote area was one of the last-settled parts of New York State. It's name evoked the very essence of wilderness. Tourism and logging industry we're the back bone of the economy.
When the logging boom faded out, the state purchased the mostly cleared lands. Today, seventy-five percent of the lake's shoreline is state owned, The Cranberry Lake Wild Forest surrounds most of the North, East and West shores, and the "Five Ponds Wilderness Area", on the southern end of Cranbery Lake, just south of the village of Wanakena. This region is one of the largest and wildest areas in the entire Adirondack Park and New York State. The Wilderness surrounding the lake is untamed "FOREVER WILD" State Forest preserve, with minimal encroachment, and is packed full of some of the best hiking, skiing and snowmobile trails in NYS.
Originally, the lake was about half its present size, but in 1867 a log crib dam was completed at Cranberry Lake Village to control the flow of the river and improve navigation. The present concrete dam was built in 1916. and now makes Cranberry Lake the 3rd LARGEST lake in the Adirondack Park.