Tupper Lake Triad: A Hiking Challenge for Beginners

If you’ve been watching hikers flash their hiking challenge patches thinking you’d like one for yourself, you’re in luck. Some of these hiking challenges are NOT for beginners, but the Tupper Lake Triad most certainly is!

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 Tupper Lake Triad Mountains

Mt. Arab

Goodman Mountain

Coney Mountain

Mt. Arab

  • Distance: 1 mile to the summit
  • Elevation: 2,545 feet
  • Ascent: 764 feet

Mt. Arab is my favorite hike of the Tupper Lake Triad Hiking Challenge. It’s an easily accessible trailhead that 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.

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Spur trails have been created near the summit 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.

American Flag flies outside a mountain fire tower
Thankful for those willing to fight for my freedom to explore this beautiful country!

I arrived to 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 (a guarantee in May).

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.

Goodman Mountain

  • 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. This parking lot is larger so you should have no trouble finding a parking spot.

The trail is paved for the first three-quarters of a mile. This paved section was the old route between Long Lake and Tupper Lake. It’s pretty neat to walk it and crazy to compare it to route 30.

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Once you turn off the gradual incline of the paved path, the climb becomes a bit more steep. Not to worry! The incline is still fairly 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.

By natures standards, the trail is young. It was created in summer of 2014 by the DEC. It is well kept and isn’t overly wide or over trafficked. Please do your part by staying on trail throughout your hike.

Peace.

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.

Coney Mountain

  • 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. It’s a fairly small lot so if the trailhead parking is full you might notice cars parked on the shoulder; this is where I parked!

Coney Mountain is a highly enjoyable trail with a very steady incline! The summit is relatively bare with near 360 views, minus a few trees here and there. There are plenty of places to enjoy lunch and the view away from other hikers.

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Enjoy the view of fellow Tupper Lake Triad mountain, Goodman Mountain, to the North along with the waters of Tupper Lake. To the West you’ll enjoy the rolling wooded hills of the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest to the west.

Mountainous views

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.

Hiking Challenges in the Adirondacks

I’ve only mentioned the ones I’ve completed above, however, I’m also working on the Adirondack Fire Tower and Adirondack 46 High Peaks Challenge! If you’re starting with the Tupper Lake Triad, I would suggest moving up to the Fulton Chain Trifecta.

This hiking challenge is similar to the Tupper Lake Triad in that it includes 3 smaller summits. Where it differs is that one of the summits requires a 4+ mile hike and a decently steep rock scramble to complete. I highly suggest visiting Old Forge and taking this challenge on next!

Camping in Tupper Lake

If you’re looking to accomplish the Tupper Lake Triad Hiking Challenge in a day or over a few, you might like to camp in the surrounding area.

  • Horseshoe Lake
    Six beautiful lake-side campsites await! These free, primitive campsites are first come first served. These sites are very close to Coney and Goodman Mountain.
  • Corey Road Sites
    The Corey Road Sites are a few miles out of town and tucked away on a dirt road in the Western High Peaks Wilderness. If you’re looking for solitude, these are the sites for you.

See the full list of 15 Free Adirondack Campsites to plan your budget Adirondack Vacation!


Please, as always, remember your and follow Leave No Trace Principles. Stay safe and head on over to this website when you’re finished to register and receive your patch!   

Published by Kaitlyn Fortier

Hello everybody! My name is Kaitlyn Fortier. I'm a Middle School Teacher and 3-season Athletics coach in Central New York. I utilize this platform to share actionable tips, 'best-of' lists, and budget-friendly travel guides for explorers of all travel interests.

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