Crane Pond Creek is in many respects the best of the best in Missouri creekin’. The scenery is incredible. The rapids are clean and fun. And if you want something to test your MO Creekin’ skills, run that first rapid immediately below the dam.
To access the run, you will need to paddle across a lake. Yes, it’s flat water and it is dull, but it doesn’t take that long to get across it.
Once you get to the dam get out on the right side to portage around. The dam is not runnable. The best put in for most is directly below the first rapid. If you put in at the right spot there will be another rapid directly below you. Run the river left chute. There are 7 major rapids in this run with #1 being the rapid directly below the dam.
Class IV. It drops 150′ in 2 miles with an impressive section that drops 80′ in 1/4.
To get to the put-in turn on E hwy. off of 21 in Ironton, go about 6 miles and you will see a paved road that angles off to the right. There may be a sign indicating Crane Lake is this way, but I’m not sure. Anyway continue down this road and it will turn into gravel. After that you will reach a 4-way intersection. Go straight. Drive to the end of the road. There are two places to park, take the left hand route if your vehicle will make it, but it doesn’t really matter both places are next to the lake. Simply get in your boat and paddle down the lake (to the left). You should be able to see the dam from the parking lot.
To get to the take-out, go back to E hwy and turn right (go away from Ironton). Take the next right (CR 134) and follow the road until you get to the creek.