Scenic and Destination Hikes Central Adirondack Association Region
Ski Hill Rd.
Length: 3.6 mile round trip
Crane Mountain in the southern Adirondacks is the most used, most appreciated and most interesting mountain in the area. Not only are there incredible views from the summit, but there is also a very beautiful pond on its shoulder. At the right season it is full of blueberries. The area around the pond is a popular camping area.1
There are two trails to the summit (both with very steep sections) which makes a loop trip possible. The shortest route to the summit is about 1.4 miles with an ascent of about 1150 feet. This route to the summit has a ladder near the top which avoids a short scramble on a rocky pitch.
The second optional trail to the summit leads directly to the pond. This direct trail to the pond crosses its outlet stream near to the pond, circles part way around the pond and then climbs steeply to the top and is typically called the Putnum Trail.
In the vicinity of the pond outlet is a faint herd path going north (and a little west) out onto a shoulder of the mountain often called the Northwest Ridge.
There is also a second loop from the pond to the summit and back to the pond. The trail from the pond to the summit is probably the steepest climb on the mountain.
Note that most dogs won't be able to climb these steep ladders and the second, longer ladder could make those hikers scared of heights hesitant to climb. The ladder is bolted into the rock and is solid however.
Be advised that in the spring, portions of the trail around the pond, and especially on the trail going up to the summit from the pond, will be covered with ice even while the trail in the valley is totally clear.2
Trailhead: From Wevertown take NY 8 south a short distance to Johnsburg. Turn left on County Route 57 aka South Johnsburg Road. In Thurman turn right on County Route 72 aka Garnett Lake Road. In just over a mile veer right on Ski Hill Road. Ski Hill Road steeply ascends to a gate. Turn right and a parking area is 500 feet away.