The quaint town of Tupper Lake is home to its very own hiking challenge. The Tupper Lake Triad Hiking Challenge boasts three *very* family-friendly mountains. The trails are quick and provide some fine views of the surrounding wilderness. They can easily be completed in one day’s time, or separate them out over the course of your visit!
Meet the Mountains
- Distance: 1 mile to the summit
- Elevation: 2,545 feet
- Ascent: 764 feet
Mt. Arab is probably my favorite hike of the Tupper Lake Triad Hiking Challenge. An easily accessible trailhead in Piercefield leads to a short, exciting incline to the fire tower. This trail gains a decent amount of elevation in 1 short mile; as a whole, the trail is only moderately steep, however, there is a section where stairs have been built to assist in the abrupt ascent. Spur trails have been created throughout to avoid sheer rock faces and light rock scrambling in other steep sections. This creation of spur trails isn’t ideal for many reasons, but if you are to leave the main trail please stay on a path that is already well worn.
I arrived a packed parking lot and expected a busy trail. The trail was full of all kinds of people, families and solo hikers alike! After about 25 minutes of hiking, I reached the summit where I was greeted by a kind gentleman and about 1 million black flies. The gentleman in the observer’s cabin was a volunteer with ‘Friends of Mt Arab’; this group has a cooperative partnership with the NYS Department of Conservation and is dedicated to the restoration of Mt Arab’s cabin, tower, trails, and to the learning experience of all those who are interested in the mountain. The observer’s cabin is full of great information regarding the history of the mountain and there are stunning views from both sides of the summit, as well as the fire tower.
- Distance: 1.7 miles to the summit
- Elevation: 2,178 feet
- Ascent: 581 feet
This trailhead is just beyond the turnoff for Coney, closer to Tupper Lake. The first three-quarters of a mile of is actually paved. This paved section was the old route between Long Lake and Tupper Lake. The climb from this point on is steady and gentle. To prevent erosion and create a trail that is more easily accessible, the trail actually swings around to the less steep slope for a majority of the climb. It is a fairly new trail, created in summer of 2014 by the DEC, so it isn’t overly wide or over trafficked.
When you reach the partially open summit, you will be met with a rocky outcropping. There are stunning views of the Round Lake Wilderness Area to the southeast and the Horseshoe Wilderness Area to the west. This is a fairly quick hike, up and down, with a great summit to rest and snack upon while taking in great views! Again, being in the Adirondacks in late May, early June, the Black Flies were swarmin’ but the views were worth the swatting! Being the longest hike of the Tupper Lake Triad Hiking Challenge, I saved it for last. I was glad I did because I had the summit all to myself for late afternoon.
- Distance: 1.1 miles to the summit
- Elevation: 2,280 feet
- Ascent: 548 feet
The trailhead for this mountain is right off of route 30 about 12 miles from Tupper Lake. If the trailhead parking is full you might notice cars parked on the shoulder; this is where I parked! Coney is another highly enjoyable trail with a very steady incline! Easy by hiking standards and visually appealing the whole hike through. The summit is relatively bare with near 360 views -minus a few trees here and there – and many a good place to sit and enjoy lunch or a snack. Views open up with Goodman Mountain to the north along with the waters of Tupper Lake. With the rolling wooded hills of the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest to the west, these views are going to be the best bang for the buck.
In late May I was met at the summit with enough black flies to prevent you from eating or drinking (for fear of swallowing them). A few different groups of people were all vying for a good spot on the mountain as well. Hanging out on any rock face is certainly acceptable, but please refrain from trampling the vegetation to have some solitude.