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Shaker Mill Pond, Cranberry Pond,
Crane Lake, Muds Pond

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Last Updated: 6/2016
 Fishing
       There is no official information on fishing these waters.
 
Description
 
SPECIAL 2016 NOTE:
  • Weeds - If you plan to paddle in late June or summer, expect to be paddling through weeds.  Much of the ponds may be unreachable because you will be forcing your way through these weeds.  I suggest paddling in early spring or after the middle of October.
  • Beaver Dams - Beaver activity can be fun to observe but you will find yourself pushing your boat over several beaver dams.

Cranberry Lake
       From the boat launch follow the shoreline north.  The bottom is shallow and the edges of the pond may be filled with weeds late in the year.
       At the northwest end of the pond you can enter into the wetlands to the north and explore.  This is an excellent area to observe many types of birds.
      Exit the wetlands and travels south to the west entering a stream.  This is characterized by wetland on both sides.  Pass through the narrow old rail bed area.  The swamp area will eventually allow you to turn northward into Crane Lake.
 
Crane Lake
      As you enter the lake there is a beach for Crane Lake Camp on your left.  This Jewish summer camp has a long history.
       Turn west and follow the north shore along a swamp area, which will become wooded halfway up.  If you want to stop and explore, there is an easy landing here.  Exploring the woods and fields can be fun.  This is all part of a Wildlife area own by the state of Massachusetts with several miles of trails.
      Now paddle westward along wetlands to the west end.  The sound of Interstate 90 can be quite loud some days.  Turn southeast along the highway where the shoreline has little interest.  Follow the east shore northward along the summer camp and exit where you entered near the camp beach.
       As you enter the stream continue straight, southeast, instead of back to Cranberry Lake.  This steam meanders through wetlands and forest passing through the old rail bed and then under Route 41 into Mud Ponds.
 
Mud Ponds
      Turn left, northward, after passing under Rt. 41.  The shoreline is wooded with steep hillside and no sign of homes.  You will need to portage at a beaver dam.  Shortest portage is on the west (left) bank. Eventually this long passage opens up to a pond with woods to the west and south.  Wetlands/swamp characterizes the rest of the shore.
       If you feel adventurous, and the water level allows, you can attempt to travel up a small stream to the north.
When you finished, travel south out of the pond and through the same passage taken going north.  When you see the Route 41 passage on your right, west, continue south along a mobile home village and into a narrow passage that leads to Shaker Mill Pond.
 
Shaker Mill Pond
      This is a very shallow pond that can be weed bound late in the year.  Private land encircles the entire pond except for the dam to the south end where water exits into the Williams River.  These ponds are the source of the Williams River, which travels 11 miles to the Housatonic River in van Deusenville (an area of Great Barrington).
       At the very north end, characterized by wetlands, there enters a small stream.  When the waters are high it may be possible to explore some distance up the stream.
 
Return Trip
      After finishing your paddle in Shaker Mill Pond.  Travel along the west shore north into the narrow passage with the mobile home park on your left.  Go under Route 41 again and follow up the wetlands stream.  As you get close to Crane Lake, turn right into the stream that will bring you back to Cranberry Lake.  Take out at the boat launch to end your trip.
 
STATISTICS

Skill Level:            Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:    3 hour
Total Distance:     5.0 miles
     Cranberry Pond:   1.2 miles
     Crane Lake:          0.8 miles
     Mud Pond:            0.9 miles
     Shaker Mill Pond:  2.1 mile
 
USGS Map:   Stockbridge, MA (7.5’x15’)
Launch Address:  

Albany Rd, West Stockbridge, MA 01266
 
Boat Launch: Car top only, carry in about 60 yards.
Position:  42-20.77 N 73-22.86 W    
 
Physical Features: Unknown
​   Cranberry Pond: Area 27 acres
 
Fish Population
  • Unknown
   
Put In and Take Out: 1.5 miles, 3 min.
  • From Route 90 (Mass Pike) to Exit 1:
  • After tollbooth, take ramp to the end and turn right and then immediately left at stop sign on to Route 102 West.  This is Main Street.
  • Follow Rt. 102 West/ Rt. 41 North through West Stockbridge.
  • When Rt. 102 West turns left (at Howitzer Gun) continue straight on Rt. 41 North.
  • The State Boat Launch is on the left before the Cemetery on the right.
Gravel parking for about 4 to 5 vehicles
Follow this trail about 50 yards
         URJ Crane Lake Camp is a Reform Jewish summer camp in West Stockbridge, MA serving children entering grades 3 to 12. Our intimate camp environment allows campers to embrace the challenge of learning new skills while practicing Jewish values.​
       Camp is fun! Our campers enjoy engaging activities and programs, develop life-long friendships, and live with a super-star staff that acts as role models, living Jewish values-not just teaching them. When you entrust your children to us, they will experience what it is like to live in an immersive Jewish community. This complete immersion allows children to see the world through a Jewish lens, giving them a fuller appreciation of the richness of Judaism and strengthening their Jewish identities along the way.
 They live the Jewish values of Rachamanut (compassion), Kavod (honor and respect), Derech Eretz (civility), G’milut Chasadim (kindness), Tikkun Olam (repairing our world), and so many more! And we know they’ll take these values home with them at summer’s end.

For more information visit the website:
Crane Lake Camp
This is the Put-In