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Accessible Fun Outdoors in Tupper Lake

17
Aug
2021
Author:
Janelle Hoh

What’s the best part about the Adirondacks? Well, that’s a very loaded question. You’re going to get a different answer from everyone. Skiing. Hiking. Great scenery. Family history. Good beer and food. Unique shopping. Just to name a few things.

The reality is that what makes the Adirondacks great is the fact it’s for everybody. A patchwork of public and private lands creates a 6-million acre space where there is indeed something for all ages, interests, and abilities. In the spirit of celebrating accessibility and welcoming every body, we invite you to Tupper Lake, New York, where there is a wealth of opportunity for accessible activities around town.

Sunset over Tupper Lake's wetlands with distant mountains and clouds.

Get outside

Obviously you came to the Adirondacks to stay indoors, in front of a screen. Wrong! The Adirondacks and Tupper Lake are an outdoor paradise just waiting to be explored. And you don’t need to hike 20-miles or canoe somewhere to visit these totally accessible, family-friendly, and beautifully scenic spots.

A solo cyclist glides along the waterfront paved path.

Parks and recreation

In the heart of the Village of Tupper Lake you will find the expansive Tupper Lake Municipal Park, which closely flanks the shores of Raquette Pond. It’s perfect for relaxing, there’s a paved waterfront walkway (did we mention the fantastic sunset view?), and lots of room to spread out and enjoy the outdoors. Near the walkway is also the Little Loggers Playground which has handicapped-accessible areas and a shaded picnic table area. 

If you’re up for a little exploration, the multi-use Junction Pass Trail is tight-packed gravel and connects the two distinct business districts in town! The path flows along an old railroad bed so it’s smooth and flat, making it a great destination for those looking to explore Tupper Lake away from the traffic. 

Trail sign for the Junction Pass Trail and the smooth gravel path in the background.

For the love of fishing

The fishing in the Tupper Lake area is “reel” legendary. From walleye to bass to bullhead, every angler can find something here.

Near downtown at the Municipal Park, there are two covered fishing overlooks. These wooden platforms afford access to Raquette Pond. Raquette Pond is shallow (at its deepest point it’s only about 13-feet). The shallow waters, coupled with aquatic plants, makes perfect habitat for northern pike, bass, and sunfish. As far as shoreline fishing is concerned, this is the spot to be. In town, at least.

A wooden platform overlooking a calm and still lake with a green forested shoreline.

Outside of town, there are two other accessible fishing platforms. On Horseshoe Lake, the fish are as plentiful as the beautiful scenery. Piercefield Flow, downstream of Raquette Pond along the Raquette River actually, is another great spot to fish and take in the view. Both locations have accessible fishing platforms and soft boat launches for canoeing or kayaking.

Birds rule the roost

One of the best things about birding is that it can be done anywhere. You can find birds in cities, in the mountains, on the lakes, and at local parks. Tupper Lake is unique in that there are really productive birding locations easily accessible to everyone. Right off the main road, a wetland rich in species diversity can be viewed from a wooden platform. This spot along the causeway between Simon Pond and Tupper Lake is great for seeing Red-winged Blackbirds, American Bitterns, migrating ducks, and, of course, iconic Adirondack species such as Common Loons and Bald Eagles. It’s just a short distance from the parking spots to the platform along a brick path.

A brick pathway leads to a wooden platform overlooking an extensive wetland and Tupper Lake beyond.

Another location where birding can be done from your vehicle is at Sabattis Bog. This location is about 11-miles south of Tupper Lake (but it’s a scenic drive) and brings birders into a boreal habitat found in only a few locations around the Adirondacks. 

There’s more!

This is just the beginning. There are still plenty of accessible adventures in Tupper Lake! If you’re looking for a more curated experience, check out The Wild Center, which has accessible and sensory exhibits. Or grab a motel room to relax in before heading out to look up at Tupper Lake’s famously dark skies and sparkling stars. Or visit nearby John Dillon Park for accessible camping.

However you choose to spend your Tupper Lake getaway, there are plenty of ways for you to connect and discover this wonderful region!