Testing the Tupper Lake Triad

We are still pursuing our 46er dream, but in the meantime, we did complete the Saranac Lake 6ers, so now was the time to complete the last entrant of the hiking challenges: the Tupper Lake Triad.Tupper-Lake-Triad-Patches

In 2015, a new hiking challenge, called the Tupper Lake Triad, was launched in the Tupper Lake Region of the Adirondacks. The three family-friendly mountains boast outstanding views of the surrounding mountains and lakes from their summits, reached via well-maintained and well-marked state Department of Environmental Conservation trails.

The three summits, Coney Mountain, Goodman Mountain and Mount Arab, are arrayed off of Route 30 not far from the Village of Tupper Lake. According to hike organizers, each mountain offered outstanding views of surrounding Adirondack peaks and Tupper waterways.

On Saturday, we decided to spend the day hiking those three, all at once.

Coney Mountain was our first target, and is a 2.2-mile hike round trip, with a 548-foot ascent to the suIMG_5305mmit at 2,280 feet. The trail for the majority was rocky and still quite new, so footing was a bit rough in areas. The trail goes around the steep western slopes of the mountain, and as it steepens a bit, it continues to contour its way around to the northern slopes of Coney Mountain. The final approach is over slab rock, but no scrambling is necessary. The views start to open up with Goodman Mountain to the north and Mount Morris to the northeast. The waters of Tupper Lake can be seen to the north as well and the wooded hills of the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest to the west. As far as views go, this is one of the best in the area, with the best bang for the buck.

Next was Goodman Mountain, named after the famous civil rights activist. Goodman Mountain is about 3.2 miles round-trip, ascending 581 feet to an elevation of 2,178 feet. And the first quarter-mile is wheelchair accessible. As with Coney, the trails goes around the northern slopes of the mountain and ends up on a rocky slab, this one facing Coney Mountain on the South.


South Views from Goodman

Finally, we drove to our last destination, Mount Arab, in Piercefield. It has a restored fire tower and fireIMG_5314 observer’s cabin with a small museum inside. The round-trip hike is about 2.2 miles, ascending 764 feet to an elevation of 2,545 feet. The well-marked path is moderately steep for the bulk of the hike but there are short, steep sections. The trail follows the northern ridge of the mountain and keeps the steeper slopes off to the hiker’s right. From there the trail moderates nicely before topping out on the open summit. We climbed the fire tower for some outstanding views you can’t get from the summit itself.



Mt Arab Lake from the Fire Tower

After successfully hiking all three peaks (for a total of about 8 miles), we registered on the official Triad Roster to receive our patch, and bragging rights, of course.

To know more about Tupper Lake and the Triad, click here and here, respectively.


Get your kicks on Nun-Da-Ga-O Ridge Trail

Another beautiful day, this month, and as habits go (see the few previous posts), we picked a not-too-hard hike, to get us in shape for the season.

The Nun-Da-Ga-O Ridge hike (in the hills above the hamlet of Keene) features a loop hike, something that you usually don’t find in the Adirondacks.  Since it’s a hike along a trail that has no markers but that is well worn and easy to follow, we headed there mid-morning.  There are many views to enjoy along this 5.6 mile moderate loop hike with a 1500 foot elevation gain/loss.

Soon we began a slow climb up the Nun-Da-Ga-O ridge.  The early part, and late part are in the woods, but the middle part follows a partially open ridge with lots of views, especially of the High Peaks in the South. The views continued as we worked our way up and down rock outcroppings and progressed eastward along the ridge.

South views from Weston Mountain

At 3.5 miles, we reached the summit of Weston Mountain (the “peak” of the hike at 3186 feet).  From here, we descended a half-mile to Lost Pond, and a nice view of Hurricane Mountain and its fire tower across the pond.  At 4.5 miles, we reached the junction of the Hurricane Mountain Trail that we followed for the last 1.1 miles back to the parking area and the end of this 5.6 mile loop hike.

As expected, we didn’t see many people on this trail but found a lost hiker who had been hiking in circles for the last hour. Lucky for her, we brought her back to her car and a safe trip home.