Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Cranberry Lake
by Betty Wiest

Friday, June 19, 2020

This paddle was scheduled two weeks ago but was cancelled due to weather. Well, the weather today was absolutely gorgeous!

There were seven paddlers: Bob and Jeri C., Bob S., John F., Janet L., Lanie M. and me.

Cranberry Lake was a summer community but has slowly become a year-round one, with many small cottages and quite a few larger homes. It looks and feels almost "U" shaped with a cut through, canal-like section joining the two sections of the lake.

Before we all launched, there was a dad and his son fishing off the dock. He so proudly showed us the fish he caught. At one point it came off the hook and Lanie tried to put it back on.

The lake was mirror-like for the first part of our paddle as we went past the thin strip of land where the State of NJ has its launch and the lake exists. We went past a small island and came into a large section that had a number of houses but most of it was totally green--that was state land--and a lily-filled water body. Here I met an angry swan who decided to practically attack me and came within inches of my boat! It was so startling....I fumbled for my camera to no avail. It was the picture that got away....but I had Jeri and Bob to witness this event.

We paddle the calm water in and around the extensive lily area and eventually came to a narrow channel that took us to the other side of the lake community where we found more homes. We came upon a resident who asked if anyone wanted water. One paddler said "No", but I said "Yes!". She generously brought out several bottles of cold, refreshing water and we all gathered around her dock for a pleasant chat.

Continuing on, we checked out all the nooks and crannies of Cranberry Lake. It really was a delightful paddle. We loaded our boats and then sat and had lunch on the wood barriers nearby.

Because of the amount of boats owned by residents and visitors who use the state dock, this is a paddle that should be done on a weekday to avoid motorboats, party boats and anything else that creates havoc on the water.

My pictures have not caught up with my computer....they'll be in a future email.