Last fall I woke up on a brisk morning to venture out on a hiking and biking adventure just outside of Tupper Lake. I really like exploring new places, so when asked to bike into Hitchins Pond to hike up Lows Overlook, I happily accepted. This is a two-for-one adventure and a real bang for your buck, if you will. While the roundtrip distance of this bike and hike is 7.4 miles, both the bike in and the hike up are extremely beautiful, but not too difficult. In fact, it would be a great summer hike and bike or a fun winter snowshoe as well. The views from the top in winter would be spectacular.
My friends and I met at the road that leads to the trailhead. It’s a forest road that is often used for access to Lows Upper Dam. We geared up and headed down the road taking in all of the fall foliage from our bikes. You could hike in on this portion if you wanted to, but we opted for biking. The majority of the trail we biked was flat, which was great because I hadn’t ridden a bike in years so it wasn’t too hard.
We passed a couple of marshes on both sides of us along the way, which I imagine are great spots for birding in any season. The trees towered over us, swaying gently with the breeze and letting go of golden leaves. We didn’t meet anyone else on the road, other than the birds in the trees. We chatted as we rode along, but for the most part only heard the noise of the leaves crunching under our bike tires, a light wind, and the birds chirping.
Once we made it to the end of the road, there were some old remains of buildings and a trailhead to hike up to Lows Overlook. We set our bikes down and signed into the trailhead before heading up. The trail was very easy to follow, and a fairly gradual incline for the most part. The trail winds around the base and then you end up coming up the backside along a ridgeline to the overlook.
It wasn’t too long before we made it to the top for the most incredible views. Sometimes I am so surprised by how incredible the views from a short hike can be, and Lows Overlook is no exception. It wasn’t the sunniest fall day when we were there, but I can imagine how fantastic it would look on a clear, sunny day. We all took in the views, took a handful of pictures, and started our descent back down.
Once we got back to the trailhead, we signed out, and got on our bikes to head back down the road. Taking in the same views and tranquility as the way in, I couldn’t believe how great this hike and bike were. It is fairly easy for the most part, but it still gives you such killer views. Once we got back to our cars, we packed up and headed back into Tupper Lake for lunch at Well Dressed Food Co. It’s my favorite place to grab a sandwich and sit outside or by a window overlooking Park Street.
Distance, round trip: 7.4 miles
Elevation: 2,170 feet
How to get there
From the intersection of Route 30 and Route 3 in Tupper Lake, follow Route 30 toward Long Lake. Continue for 9.1 miles to Route 421 on your right. Turn down 421 and continue for 6.5 miles to the old railroad station on Horseshoe Lake. Cross the railroad tracks on a secondary road and continue for 0.9 miles to a gated road on the left. Park here, away from the gate.
Pack your bike and your hiking boots and hit the trail the next time you're in the Tupper Lake area. Afterward, refuel at one of the many eateries in town, grab a beer at a local tavern or brewery, and find a room to kick back and relax after a day of adventure.