In and Around Tupper Lake
What was once an infrequently seen pastime has slowly grown into common place: hiking with a 4-legged partner. No, I'm not talking about a miniature goat, a cat, a skunk, or even a pig, but a dog. When I first starting hiking, which seems like eons ago, seeing a dog on the trail was much less common. Now around every other corner of a popular trail comes man's best friend. I can totally understand the fondness of hiking with a pooch; I have had two outstanding dog hiking partners over my career. It's not always that easy to find a human hiking partner, especially during the week when most common careers require you to work; a dog can fill that gap.
The fact is, you can almost hold a complete conversation with a dog; sure they don't contribute much back but a possible bewildered look with a turn of the head, or maybe a wag of the tail, but that's OK. They don't judge you for tripping and falling, they simply run over and lick you in the face. They don't laugh at you for singing that crazy song that's stuck in your head, that you can only remember the chorus line of. They hike with you and occasionally go ahead to make sure the coast is clear and come back to see what's taking so long. They don't mind if you really stink from a long day's hike, heck, they might even find that more refreshing. I imagine by now you get the point, a canine hiking partner is unique and great company in the woods.
What I would like to do now is give you a bit of a small list of great dog hiking locations in and around Tupper Lake. These locations are excellent spots for year-round hiking or snowshoeing opportunities with your canine friend. These are clearly chosen to be dog friendly, no matter the breed. Of course, it is your responsibility to keep your dog leashed and under control. However, if you choose to explore additional trails on your own - and you should - remember, some trails are not the best for all dog types due to difficult terrain and long distances, that is where you would need to make the decision, if your dog is capable or not.
Located off Route 30 between Tupper Lake and Fish Creek you will find this short loop through tall stands of evergreens. This trail is a lollipop loop through an attractive forest with nothing to break the silence but the occassional pileated woodpecker feeding on a snag.
The route follows a very mellow trail as it enters the forest and passes by the trail register. You will continue on a flat walk as you come to the two ends of the loop portion. Rolling hills are all that are in your way and a very relaxing stroll through the park is what you can expect. The trail eventually comes to private property before swinging back to end the loop. In the fall or during wet summers, mushrooms of all shapes and colors dot the forest floor, a photographer's fungal dream.
This hike, found along Route 3 between Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, is seldom used in any large capacity, which is surprising; it is quite a lovely trail. From the trailhead you will drop over the embankment and continue on a moderate descent through a mixed forest. The base of the hill will bring you to a small stream crossing which is a tributary of the Raquette River, a great place for your dog to get a drink or even go for a quick stroll through the cool waters. Once across the stream you will have an easy climb as you go over a small unnamed little knob. The trail remains on top of the knob for a while before slowly descending into a boreal forest, where the trail narrows and becomes lined with spruce and balsam. The trail ends at the shore of the Raquette River near a lean-to and other camping locations. The current of the river here is very low, which makes for another great spot for your pet to go for a quick swim.
Located along Route 3 between Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, Deer Pond is a popular loop trail. While the loop is a great option for your day, Deer Pond is the finest destination point.
Start you hike along an old woods road with a wide track through an attractive Adirondack forest. The trail remains very flat for most of the hike back to Deer Pond. A few wet areas and a stream crossing add the unique quality of this trail. As you near the pond a short climb will bring you to a shoulder of a small knoll before dropping you steadily to a trail intersection with Lead Pond. For the best view of Deer Pond, follow the Lead Pond Trail for a bit. Drop down steeply and cross over a small draw to a rock outcropping at the edge of the pond.
Feel free to continue on to Lead Pond, but the trail is much less used and adds on a decent amount of round-trip distance. Finishing off the loop is also an option. The loop will add on a couple extra miles opposed to just returning the way you came. The loop is very easy, with only a few rolling hills along the way, before finishing off along Old Wawbeek Road (closed to motor vehicles).
Goodman Mountain ends up on a bunch of lists for many different hiking opportunities; this is due to ease of access and winning payoff at the end. If you want to do a mountain with your dog, count Goodman as being a perfect location. Located off Route 30 between Tupper Lake and Long Lake you won't have to drive far to reach it. The DEC has newly developed this trail and is now marked and graded perfectly for any breed of hiker and hiking partner. Following an old road at first it slowly climbs to a foot trail. The foot trail remains nice and graded as you approach a summit with outstanding views of the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest and beyond.
Plan a weekend!
Looking to stay in the area? See what Tupper Lake has for dog friendly lodging opportunities. Want to hike some other locations in the area, see what else Tupper Lake has to offer for hiking and snowshoeing. Looking for more information on snowshoeing in the area - check out this recent blog!