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Good till the last drop

I always spend the last weekends of August on the lake with family, squeezing out every last drop of summer fun before we have to get the kids ready to head back to school. The last days of summer are the kind of days where you simply lose track of just how many times you were in the lake — seven times, maybe eight? But who’s counting?

Ready... set...splash!
Ready... set...splash!

As enjoyable as swimming and paddling are, my favorite part of spending time by the water is in the early morning hours. I love getting up before everyone is awake and buzzing around; this is my special time to simply sit with a hot cup of coffee as I watch the fog slowly lift off the lake. I relish that sense of stillness, the calm before the storm of activity that the day ahead holds. But, recently, I've noticed something else during those early mornings on the dock — the distinct smells and early colors of autumn are starting to pop up through our mountainous landscape. 

On the one hand, I feel heartbroken, like my summer crush is about to leave me. On the other hand, I remember that some things just get better as fall approaches in the Adirondacks. Not to mention the fact that pumpkin and apple cider donuts will soon be available at just about every turn, fall beers are about to hit the local taps, and ski season isn't too far off! So, here we go, it's time to accept the inevitable and get ready to gear up for some of the best that autumn has to offer.

4 activities that get even better in the fall

Just like a fine wine, some activities and attractions get better as summer ages into autumn. Go ahead and grab your extra layers for the early morning and evening hours, and come dig into these awesome fall activities.

1. The Tupper Lake Triad

Fall view from Mount Arab in Piercefield.
Fall view from Mount Arab in Piercefield.

Hiking might be one of the Adirondacks' most iconic fall activities. Actually, it might be one of the most iconic activities that the area offers year-round. And while the trails are popular in the summer, fall is when hiking hits its peak (sorry couldn't resist). Really, fall mountain climbing offers up some of the best views of the colorful landscape below. 

Looking for a challenge? Check out the Tupper Lake Triad, where hikers are tasked with hiking three family-friendly peaks — Mount Arab, Goodman Mountain, and Coney Mountain — in exchange for a Tupper Lake Triad Patch. Depending on your preference, the challenge can easily be completed in a day or a long weekend. So lace up those hiking boots and enjoy the splendor of fall hiking along the trails to our breathtaking Adirondack mountain peaks.

2. The Wild Center and Wild Walk

Discover Wild Walk in the fall.
Discover Wild Walk in the fall.

The Wild Center is a fun and exciting place to visit year-round, however, with the addition of Wild Walk, fall has become a key time to come and climb into the treetops. Open until Columbus Day, Wild Walk provides a unique opportunity to get a birds-eye view of the Adirondack forest. The elevated pathway gives visitors the chance to explore the four-story twig tree house, walk through a series of swinging bridges, experience life in a human-sized spider's web, and then climb 42 feet into the air in a full-sized bald eagle's nest. 

In addition to exploring Wild Walk this fall, you are encouraged to take advantage of all the wonder The Wild Center campus has to offer. Get close to nature by following the nature trail to the breathtaking Oxbow of the Raquette River, immerse yourself in nature and music in the new iForest, or go on a guided paddling adventure!

3. Soak up the reflections from the water

Fall in love with paddling this fall.
Fall in love with paddling this fall.

For avid paddlers, every day — from the time the ice first melts until the first big snowstorm of the season — is considered a great day to paddle. Most will agree that there is nothing quite as tranquil as a fall day on the water. The combination of pleasant temperatures, absence of black flies, and the colorful reflections of reds, oranges, and yellows off of the blues from the sky and lake make for an excellent day on the water.

In the fall, the calm and gentle rivers in and around Tupper Lake are one of the best spots to explore. It seems as though the lush canopy of foliage is ushering you into a secret world as you meander your way downstream. Check out Bog River to Hitchens Pond for a rewarding paddle and hike combo, or put in along the Raquette River for a variety of different paddling distances and destinations.  

Paddlers looking for a challenge will enjoy taking on the Tupper Lake Paddling Triad. Complete three paddles that show you some of the best of Tupper Lake paddling and receive a free patch! This triad is great for kayak or canoe.

4. Enjoy fall golf

Enjoy a round or two this fall at the Tupper Lake Golf Club.
Enjoy a round or two this fall at the Tupper Lake Golf Club.

Don't put the clubs away in exchange for the skis just yet! The mountainous terrain of the Tupper Lake Golf Course is a great spot to get in a few more rounds before the snow flies.

Fall is one of the most spectacular times to hit the course — the temps cool down, the course quiets down, and the warm hues of red, orange, and yellow contrast with the emerald greens. Whether it's a quick round of 9, or a full round of 18, you will be glad you hit a few more balls this season. After the game, take advantage of the onsite dining at the Burgundy Steakhouse, or grab a cold beer from the full-service bar and relax in one of the Adirondack chairs overlooking the 18th green. 

Discover the best of fall

However you swing it, fall is one of the best times to be in Tupper Lake — it offers a great crossover of all the things we love about summer and all the splendors of autumn. Don't let the snow arrive without first taking advantage of all the fun fall has in store for you.

Start by finding lodging, then set aside some time to try our recommended fall activities. Or, maybe you'd prefer to create your own list? There really is so much to do! Maybe you want to slow things down and discover Tupper Lake craft beer — sampling some of the products on tap from our local breweries, or perhaps you're looking to sneak off for a relaxing fall bike ride along the multi-use recreation trail — no worries, we've got you covered!