Among the park’s most remote assets is the Five Ponds Wilderness Area, 107,230 acres in the west-central region between Cranberry Lake and Stillwater Reservoir. Other than trails, mostly in the northern area, there are few signs of civilization. Primitive camp sites are available around the shores of Cranberry Lake in the northern part of the area, which are used mostly by paddlers on the canoe route. Cranberry Lake and Star Lake have boat launches, marinas and basic lodging services. But the overall feel is woods, water and wilderness.
The Oswegatchie River is both the inlet and outlet of Cranberry Lake. This river provides some of the Adirondacks’ finest canoe waters, including the Oswegatchie Flat Water Canoe Route. It runs from the inlet just south of Wanakena upriver into the High Falls and Five Ponds areas. The Oswegatchie route is regarded as one of the best deep woods wilderness canoe adventures anywhere. And it’s just one of the many canoe routes found throughout the western Adirondacks region.
The region also has excellent brown trout and smallmouth bass fishing. Whitetail deer and black bear are also abundant.
Most of the western Adirondacks region is dotted with state parks, designated wild forests, wildlife management use areas, wilderness areas, campgrounds and lakes with boat launches.