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Old 04-30-2019, 09:41 PM   #21
DSettahr
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Crane can be a bit of a party spot. It's usually not too bad, but every once in a while it does get a group or two that just does not understand that not everyone else camped on the pond wants them provide the soundtrack to their camping experience.

Also, you'd have to get to Crane early on a Friday to have a decent chance at securing one of the sites readily accessible by foot (1, 2, 3, or 4). These sites tend to get snatched up pretty quickly on any nice weekend. The rest of the sites (5-10) are boat access only (although 10 isn't a hard bushwhack if you know where to look for it).

Gull gets moderate levels of overnight use- it's not super popular but your options are limited if the single designated tent site is already occupied. On the plus side, it's not a very long hike in.

Spectacle doesn't get a huge amount of overnight use- I'd be moderately surprised if you got back in there and found the tent site already occupied. It's an OK tent site, a bit small but it's got good views across the pond in the vicinity. The hike in may also be a bit more than a 3 year old may have enthusiasm for.

I'll second webby's recommendation of Rock Pond- that could be a good option as well. Plus, with the 2 lean-tos and 3 designated tent sites you don't have to worry as much about whether you'll find an open site or not. Additionally, as an alternative option for accessing Rock Pond, you could paddle across Putnam Pond and then hike the remaining distance to Rock Pond. Clear Pond can be accessed this way also (in fact it's not uncommon to see families with kids that day trip to Clear Pond from Putnam Pond this way). With a 3 year old especially, the paddle option might be worth considering. (You might also consider reserving one of the remote paddle-in sites on Putnam Pond itself.)

Goose Pond might also be a possible alternative. It does sometimes fill up on nice weekends and it can get a crazy group every once in a while (although this is less likely here than at Crane Pond). It does have some nice campsites and it's not a very far hike in, though.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:51 PM   #22
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One other thing to be aware of with kids in particular- the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness tends to be really buggy. At night especially, once the sun has set and the day time breezes have died down, the mosquitoes really come out in force. Given that you really want a kid's first few camping experiences to be super positive (so that they'll desire to join you again and again in the future), it's worth thinking about how you'll plan to address this- and honestly, I wouldn't blame you if you selected an alternate destination because of it.

I've actually carried a bug house with me into the backcountry on multiple occasions while camped in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. (Something similar to this.)

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Old 05-01-2019, 08:37 AM   #23
MikeinMaryland
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
One other thing to be aware of with kids in particular- the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness tends to be really buggy. At night especially, once the sun has set and the day time breezes have died down, the mosquitoes really come out in force. Given that you really want a kid's first few camping experiences to be super positive (so that they'll desire to join you again and again in the future), it's worth thinking about how you'll plan to address this- and honestly, I wouldn't blame you if you selected an alternate destination because of it.

I've actually carried a bug house with me into the backcountry on multiple occasions while camped in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. (Something similar to this.)
Thanks!

Yeah I was considering this. It's unfortunate that probably the only time I'll be able to make it to the Adirondacks is late May or early June. I've had hit or miss experiences with the black flies those times of year. I was thinking we'd start out with the plan to hike/camp and if the bugs were bad have a backup plan and stay at a motel or B and B or something.
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