Formed in 2015, the Tupper Lake Triad is a series of three small mountain hikes surrounding the town of Tupper Lake, NY. The three mountains are Mt. Arab, Coney Mountain, and Goodman Mountain. They are all family-friendly, which means the elevation gain, distance, and views are all amenable to children through senior citizens.
I originally saw details for this hike when I was putting in some of my other hikes into a site called Peakbagger. That is a site that lets you detail your ascents, keep track of them, and then it filters them into different lists to let you know what other mountain ranges might be of interest to you. I saw the Triad at the very bottom of the list of mountain ranges.
The hike for me took place on a nice summer Sunday morning. I drove up in the morning and got to Tupper Lake by 9:30am and the temperature was around seventy when I finally got on the trail around 10am.
Mt, Arab is the shortest of the three with a one mile hike to the summit. It is also the steepest with 764 feet of ascent while standing at 2,545 feet tall. Another benefit to hiking Mt. Arab is that at the top it has one of the thirty fire towers that count towards the Fire Tower Challenge of the Adirondack and Catskill Mountain ranges.
It is located to the west of Tupper Lake and is very easy to spot the parking lot and trailhead from Mt. Arab Road. The trail itself was pretty clear of debris (downed trees and stones), but did have some moderate elevation right from the start. It doesn't take a lot of technical maneuvering, but for the inexperienced hiker, some breaks will be needed.
Mt. Arab Trail
Mt. Arab Summit
The ascent only took twenty-four minutes to get to the top without stopping during the mile-long trek. Once at the top, there is an old cabin that was a museum of sorts and then the fire tower is just past it. Just prior to the summit, there is a nice overlook of one of the lakes, and there are a few other lookout points at the very top.
After spending a few minutes taking in the sights and checking out the museum and the two huge newfoundland dogs that were acting as greeters on its porch, I started down and was able to make it in only twenty-three minutes.
Mt. Arab Summit View
Mt. Arab's Fire Tower
The next mountain on the trip was Goodman Mountain. After heading into Tupper Lake, a quick turn onto route 30 South takes you down the road about nine miles until you see the sign on the left for the parking area. It's a small parking lot, but still had plenty of room when I got there.
Goodman Mountain is the longest of the hikes at 1.7 miles, but it's the shortest of the three at only 2,178 feet. The ascent is in the middle with 581 feet of elevation gained. It's also a strange hike because the first ten minutes was on a paved surface. I thought I should have been roller blading it instead of hiking it.
Goodman Mountain Initial Hike
Goodman Mountain (Cont.)
After ten minutes of the hard pavement and light elevation gain, I finally reached the dirt trail. The trail got a little bit steeper but it was still moderate and was very clear in terms of the terrain. Another ten minutes went by on the hike before coming to the first of three steeper elevation climbs.
I remember thinking to myself that these three would be a challenge for someone a bit older, but each has a small section of flat ground for a rest in between. There was a huge rock right before the last climb, so when you get to it, you know you're almost there. The three of them took me another fifteen minutes, so the entire hike was a thirty-five minute haul to the top.
The Rock Before the Final Ascent of Goodman Mountain
Goodman Mountain Summit
The views of the Adirondacks were better from the summit of Goodman than the top of Mt. Arab. There is a huge rock to stand upon and you can see the eastern peaks of the Adirondack 46 off to the east.
After spending about five minutes at the top, I started back down. I passed a bunch of people on the way down, mostly family of all ages. The descent back down to the registry took thirty minutes total.
The View from Goodman Summit
Goodman and Coney Mountains
Coney Mountain is a little further south down Route 30 from Goodman Mountain and the parking lot is tiny so most of the people hiking parked right on the shoulder of the highway then walked to the registry.
Coney offers a 1.1 mile hike and an elevation gain of 548 feet to a summit that stands 2,280 feet. It starts with some light elevation for a few minutes, then starts taking you across some very rocky terrain around the mountain to the east. These two sections last only about six to seven minutes and then the trail opens up and smooths out a bit.
It's all uphill from there though. There are no flat sections once you're out of the rocky sections and the trail has some decent steepness to it. Compared to the Adirondack 46 ranges though, it's still pretty moderate. The hike to the summit only took twenty-four minutes.
The Coney Mountain Trail Terrain
Coney Mountain Summit
The summit has a survey marker that you get a photo standing near to prove you made it. To the east, there are good views of the Adirondack 46 and to the west, there is a good view of another lake. The summit is nice and wide and pretty open to look out in all directions.
After spending a few minutes up there, I headed back down and made it back to the registry in twenty-two minutes.
Coney Mountain Survey Marker
Coney Mountain Lake View
All in all, it was a fun morning of hiking. I met a few people while on the hike, including someone who had done the entire 46 high peaks while on Mt. Arab. I started hiking around ten in the morning on the day and was back in the car at about a quarter to two in the afternoon. It honestly took me an hour longer to drive up to do the Triad than it did to hike them.
But if you're looking for a good introduction to hiking and some nice views of the Adirondacks, these three peaks were all enjoyable and the family would have a blast. I highly recommend them.
- Tupper Lake Triad | Tupper Lake, Adirondacks
The Tupper Lake Triad is the Adirondacks' newest family-friendly challenge.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Who do you contact after you finish the Tupper Lake Triad hike?
Answer: You download this form and mail it to the address listed and they will send you your patch.
JOC (author) from Syracuse, NY on November 29, 2018:
Glad to hear you liked it. I've thought about coming down your way as well, some good options there.
Don Shepard on November 29, 2018:
Great piece and pics! We are avid hikers but never made it to the Northeast. We usually stick around our area and the Smoky Mtns, but made it to Colorado a couple years ago for some great hiking/camping. This piece gives me a better starting point when I make it up that way.
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on August 19, 2017:
It's such a beautiful world if people would just open their eyes and enjoy it.