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Difficulty III-IV
Length 0 Miles
Gauge East Fork Black River near Lesterville, MO
Flow Range 2.00 - 6.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 53 minutes ago ~ 1.31 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 11/25/2010 3:27 pm

River Description


Gauge Description:
The USGS gauge is a crude indicator for runnability of this small creek. Better to look for 1-2" of rain within 24 hours at the Glover rain gage and look for a sharp rise in the E Fork Black River. A paddler’s gauge is on the CR 134 low-water bridge at the take-out.
 

  Crane Pond Cr @ CR 134 bridge
(feet)
Minimum 0.8
Optimum 1.2 - 3.0
Maximum 3.5

 

It is not recommended to run Crane Pond Creek below the minimum or above the maximum. Low-water runs entail a lot of boat abuse since the creek bed widens significantly after leaving the gorge. High-water runs present definite pinning possibilities since there is a mile-long section of “willow jungles from hell,” a consequence of the creek bed being dewatered by the upstream reservoir.

River Description:
Park in the parking lot right next to Crane Lake. Put in and paddle toward the gorge in the distance ... about 1/4 mile. (Note: this distance is not included in the gradient numbers cited above). The lake and land surrounding the gorge are public lands (Missouri Dept. of Conservation & Forest Service). After the creek exits the gorge, it's all private until the take-out.

While the run is only 2.35 miles, you'll need to paddle across the lake, carry around the dam which creates Crane Pond, scout the drops (7 in all), pick your way through willow jungles from Hell, and carry around a dam 1/2 mile above the take-out, so it will seem longer.

The gorge drops about 80 feet in 1/2 mile before it ends. Scenery is spectacular in the gorge, with short, catchable eddies. The most serious drop (about the 3rd or 4th one) is recognizable by the creek curving to the left and vegetation from the left intruding into the paddling corridor (i.e. be prepared for a fandango with a bush). Low-water runs have resulted in a lot of pins at this spot.

One final note ... because you have to paddle a tiny creek through private land be especially courteous if a landowner is encountered. We have had no encounters so far (except for the one at the take-out) but there's always a chance. Happy paddling!

Logistics:
Crane Pond Creek is between Hwys E & C and east of Hwy 49 in Iron County. Don’t use Hwy C on the shuttle since it has numerous low-water crossings that will be impassible when Crane Pond Creek is running. Hwy E (aka Marble Creek road) can be accessed either from Hwy 21 on the west or from Hwy 67 on the east. To get to the put-in from the west, begin in Ironton/Arcadia, MO at the intersection of Hwys 72 & 21, go south on Hwy 21 for 1.5 miles to Hwy E, go left on Hwy E for 9.4 miles to CR 124 (Warren Hill & Orr Hol Rd), go right on CR 124 for 2.6 miles to Crane Pond Rd (CR 131), and go left on Crane Pond Rd for 2 miles to the parking lot at Crane Lake. To get to the put-in from the east, begin outside Fredericktown, MO at the intersection of Hwys 67 & 72, go south on Hwy 67 about 3 miles to Hwy E, go right on Hwy E for 18.3 miles to CR 124, go left on CR 124 and follow the directions above.

To get to the take-out, start from the put-in at Crane Lake and go back to the intersection of CR 124 with Hwy E, go right on Hwy E for 0.5 miles to CR 134 (Minimum Rd/Neal Huff Rd) and go right on CR 134 for 3.2 miles to the Crane Pond Cr low-water bridge. Park as far to the side of the road as you can (not too close to the creek since it floods) and do not block the gated entrance road. It is possible that a low-water crossing on CR 134 about ½ mile before the take-out bridge may be impassible. You could just park there and walk the distance.

History:
Crane Pond Creek was first run on Easter Sunday, 19 April 1992, by Greg Brown, Chuck McHenry, Bill Knight, Rich Bryant, Frank Wentz, Bill Weiss, and John Tansil.

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

Gage Descriptions

The USGS gauge is a crude indicator for runnability of this small creek. Better to look for 1-2" of rain within 24 hours at the Glover rain gage and look for a sharp rise in the E Fork Black River. A paddler’s gauge is on the CR 134 low-water bridge at the take-out.
 

  Crane Pond Cr @ CR 134 bridge
(feet)
Minimum 0.8
Optimum 1.2 - 3.0
Maximum 3.5


 

It is not recommended to run Crane Pond Creek below the minimum or above the maximum. Low-water runs entail a lot of boat abuse since the creek bed widens significantly after leaving the gorge. High-water runs present definite pinning possibilities since there is a mile-long section of “willow jungles from hell,” a consequence of the creek bed being dewatered by the upstream reservoir.

 

Directions Description


Crane Pond Creek is between Hwys E & C and east of Hwy 49 in Iron County. Don’t use Hwy C on the shuttle since it has numerous low-water crossings that will be impassible when Crane Pond Creek is running. Hwy E (aka Marble Creek road) can be accessed either from Hwy 21 on the west or from Hwy 67 on the east. To get to the put-in from the west, begin in Ironton/Arcadia, MO at the intersection of Hwys 72 & 21, go south on Hwy 21 for 1.5 miles to Hwy E, go left on Hwy E for 9.4 miles to CR 124 (Warren Hill & Orr Hol Rd), go right on CR 124 for 2.6 miles to Crane Pond Rd (CR 131), and go left on Crane Pond Rd for 2 miles to the parking lot at Crane Lake. To get to the put-in from the east, begin outside Fredericktown, MO at the intersection of Hwys 67 & 72, go south on Hwy 67 about 3 miles to Hwy E, go right on Hwy E for 18.3 miles to CR 124, go left on CR 124 and follow the directions above.

To get to the take-out, start from the put-in at Crane Lake and go back to the intersection of CR 124 with Hwy E, go right on Hwy E for 0.5 miles to CR 134 (Minimum Rd/Neal Huff Rd) and go right on CR 134 for 3.2 miles to the Crane Pond Cr low-water bridge. Park as far to the side of the road as you can (not too close to the creek since it floods) and do not block the gated entrance road. It is possible that a low-water crossing on CR 134 about ½ mile before the take-out bridge may be impassible. You could just park there and walk the distance.

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John Tansil

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1196985 12/26/09 John Tansil
1195630 07/13/09 John Tansil
1192714 05/15/09 John Tansil n/a
1198760 11/25/10 John Tansil fixed broken links