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Conquering the Tupper Lake Triad

Submitted by guest blogger Kaet Wild

In the aftermath of a long, rainy spring in the Adirondacks, when hiking in the High Peaks is a no-go due to trail fragility, it can be hard to maintain the level of sanity needed to enjoy life. Luckily, there are smaller mountains out there with beautiful, mood-enhancing views with hardier trails. Three of these mountains can be found near Tupper Lake: Goodman, Coney, and Arab. And when the sun finally shines after a stretch of cloudy skies, you may even feel inclined to hike all three in one day like we did. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds. Hike all three and you can call yourself a Tupper Lake Triader. There’s a patch and everything!

1. Goodman Mountain

The trailheads for Goodman and Coney are located very close to one another. We began on Goodman, the longest of the three, at 11 a.m. The trail starts out flat on a paved walkway about 3 feet wide, making this section of the trail wheelchair and stroller friendly. Then, about a mile in, the trail veers into the woods, onto a dirt trail, and starts to gradually ascend and wind around the side of the mountain through a deciduous forest. Glimpses of the Raquette River can be seen through the trees off to the right and a 180 degree view of Tupper Lake, Coney, and Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest awaits you at the summit, with lots of rock to sit and lay upon. It’s about 1.7 miles to the summit, and it took a little over an hour to complete.

2. Coney Mountain

Next, we drove right down the road to the Coney trailhead. The Coney trail is a bit rockier, making footing slightly technical at times, but it’s quite short, only about one mile to the summit. This trail meanders through some hardwoods similar to those on Goodman, with a few impressively large trees along the way. This climb is gradual and ends with an expansive, 360-degree view that stretches far and wide in all directions…even a few High Peaks can be spotted in the distance. 

3. Mount Arab

After completing the first two mountains, we drove through Tupper Lake to Mount Arab’s trailhead in Piercefield. This trail is slightly steeper than its triad counterparts, with the greatest elevation gain of the three (700 feet) over a one-mile stretch. The ascent begins almost immediately, and near the summit the trail splits; hikers can climb a small scramble or opt to hike around to the right on a switchback. Once you see the ranger cabin and fire tower, you’ll know you’ve made it. There’s a short foot trail off to the right that leads to a bench with a view, but the best view can be seen from the top of the fire tower. We reached our car and officially finished the triad saga at 3 p.m., just as the clouds returned to the sky. 

Completing all three of these mountains at a casual pace took us 4 hours (driving time included) and totaled a little over 7 miles. As I said, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. These little mountains are perfect for families, someone looking for a short day hike, or an introvert trying to score some alone time on a beautiful summit. 

Getting there

Goodman and Coney: From Saranac Lake, head toward Tupper Lake on Route 3. In Tupper, turn left onto Route 30 and continue about 10 miles. Goodman will be on the left first and Coney will be on the left soon after.

Arab: From Saranac Lake, head toward Tupper Lake on Route 3. Continue on Route 3 through Tupper Lake (right on Mill St, right on Lake St). Take a slight left onto County Route 62. Continue about 2 miles, then turn left onto Mt. Arab Rd. There will be signs to follow along the way.

Finish your day with a sweet treat or hearty dinner in beautiful downtown Tupper Lake!