Crane Lake Recreation Area


Area Status: Open
Crane Lake View

Crane Lake was originally created many years ago by impounding Crane Pond Creek. The dam is an earth fill dam at the upstream end of a “shut-ins” or narrow gorge cut in the granite bedrock. The lake is about 50 acres in size and approximately 20 feet deep at the dam. The site is popular for fishing and hiking.

This is a good area to see great blue herons, songbirds and a variety of waterfowl.

A temporary single-lane gravel boat launch has been installed to allow launching during low water level periods. Shoreline fishing, hunting and hiking at Crane Lake will continue to be permitted except immediately near the dam where the construction work will be occurring.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Crane Lake is undergoing a partial drawdown (~12-foot) that will fluctuate depending on the recent rainfall. The drawdown will result in a lake that is approximately 40-50 acres in size. This is being done to facilitate the Cranke Lake Dam remediation project. We expect possible closures of this recreation area as the construction activities progress. Shoreline fishing, hunting and hiking at Crane Lake will continue to be permitted except immediately near the dam where the construction work will be occurring.
Operational Hours: Quiet Hours: 10 pm to 6 am
Area Amenities: Boat ramp, Parking
Fees: No fees
Open Season: January - December
Usage: Light
Restrictions:
  • No overnight camping in day use areas at any time of year.
  • Dogs must be on a 6 foot leash in the day use area
  • No trash containers; please pack out all your trash.
  • Fireworks are prohibited.
  • Boats are allowed, only electric motors are permitted.
Closest Towns: Ironton, MO
Water: None
Restroom: None
Operated By: USDA Forest Service
Information Center: Potosi-Fredericktown Ranger District
Email | Phone and Address

General Information

Directions:

From Ironton, MO

  • Take Highway 21 south for approximately 2 miles
  • Turn left and take Highway E south for 9 miles
  • Turn right on Iron County Road 124 for 2.5 miles
  • Turn left on Iron County Road 131 for 2 miles
  • The road ends at the site.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Lake and Pond Fishing

Boat or bank fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish and panfish. Electric motors only. There is a single-lane, gravel boat ramp.

Fish Species largemouth bass, channel catfish, panfish
Fishing Mode boat, shore
Fishing Platform None
Water Temperature Warm
Fishing Method pole

Day Hiking

Crane Lake National Recreation Trail is a five mile double loop trail, the south loop of which connects to the Marble Creek Section of the Ozark Trail. The trail is minimally marked. There are a few creek crossings. The north loop will take you to shut-ins below a dam and there are several scenic views. 

To get on the trail you can start at the boat launch to park. Walk back up to Reader Hollow/Forest Road 2155. The trail curves around to the left, crossing County Road 131 bfore continuing west (left) along the western edge of the lake. You'll cross Crane Pond Creek before the trail loops south to hug the southern shore of the lake. 

At the eastern side of the lake, right before Crane Pond Creek the trail veers to the left and parallels the creek for a while. You'll cross the creek again and continue parallel to the creek until you intersect with the Marble Creek section of the Ozark Trail. At the intersection you can either veer right and continue on the Ozark Trail or veer left and continue next to the creek, and then the lake, before ending up back at the boat launch. 

 

Marble Creek Section of the Ozark Trail

This section of the Ozark Trail which eventually will total approximately 21 miles runs from Marble Creek Campground to Crane Lake Picnic Area, with the Crane Lake Trail circling the lake.

Backpacking

Crane Lake National Recreation Trail is a five mile double loop trail, the south loop of which connects to the Marble Creek Section of the Ozark Trail. The trail is minimally marked. There are a few creek crossings. The north loop will take you to shut-ins below a dam and there are several scenic views. 

To get on the trail you can start at the boat launch to park. Walk back up to Reader Hollow/Forest Road 2155. The trail curves around to the left, crossing County Road 131 bfore continuing west (left) along the western edge of the lake. You'll cross Crane Pond Creek before the trail loops south to hug the southern shore of the lake. 

At the eastern side of the lake, right before Crane Pond Creek the trail veers to the left and parallels the creek for a while. You'll cross the creek again and continue parallel to the creek until you intersect with the Marble Creek section of the Ozark Trail. At the intersection you can either veer right and continue on the Ozark Trail or veer left and continue next to the creek, and then the lake, before ending up back at the boat launch. 

 

Marble Creek Section of the Ozark Trail

This section of the Ozark Trail which eventually will total approximately 21 miles runs from Marble Creek Campground to Crane Lake Picnic Area, with the Crane Lake Trail circling the lake.

Horse Riding

Crane Lake National Recreation Trail is a five mile double loop trail, the south loop of which connects to the Marble Creek Section of the Ozark Trail. The trail is minimally marked. There are a few creek crossings. The north loop will take you to shut-ins below a dam and there are several scenic views. 

To get on the trail you can start at the boat launch to park. Walk back up to Reader Hollow/Forest Road 2155. The trail curves around to the left, crossing County Road 131 bfore continuing west (left) along the western edge of the lake. You'll cross Crane Pond Creek before the trail loops south to hug the southern shore of the lake. 

At the eastern side of the lake, right before Crane Pond Creek the trail veers to the left and parallels the creek for a while. You'll cross the creek again and continue parallel to the creek until you intersect with the Marble Creek section of the Ozark Trail. At the intersection you can either veer right and continue on the Ozark Trail or veer left and continue next to the creek, and then the lake, before ending up back at the boat launch. 

 

Marble Creek Section of the Ozark Trail

This section of the Ozark Trail which eventually will total approximately 21 miles runs from Marble Creek Campground to Crane Lake Picnic Area, with the Crane Lake Trail circling the lake.

Boating - Non-Motorized

Electric motors only. There is a single-lane, gravel boat ramp.

Amenities

Parking: 5 vehicles w/ trailers
Boat ramp: Yes

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Latitude : 
37.425255

  Longitude : 
-90.6262474