New hiking challenge offered in Tupper Lake

TUPPER LAKE – In the spirit of the Adirondack 46ers and the Saranac Lake 6ers, Tupper Lake now has its own hiking challenge to take part in.

Retired Tupper Lake physical education teacher Charles Hoffer has organized the Tupper Lake Triad, giving hikers and snowshoers looking for a family-friendly challenge a new option in the Tri-Lakes region.

The challenge requires hikers to climb three peaks around Tupper Lake. Once the peaks are completed, hikers can submit their registration form and receive a decal and an official hiker registration number. The cost to register is $5.

The three peaks are Mount Arab, Coney Mountain and Goodman Mountain. Goodman Mountain is the longest hike of the three with a distance of just over a mile-and-a-half uphill. Coney and Arab each clock in at just over a mile each way. All three trails are maintained by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Mount Arab commands a 360-degree view from a restored fire tower, and Coney Mountain also offers nearly unobstructed views in all directions.

Goodman Mountain is the newest trail of the three, having been built in 2014. The mountain was officially renamed in 2002 for civil rights activist Andrew Goodman, slain in Mississippi in 1964 by the Ku Klux Klan because he was involved in a voter registration drive aimed at getting more African-Americans on voter rolls. Goodman’s family owned a home near Tupper Lake and spent summers here.

Hikers can become both winter and summer Triad climbers, with the winter season having started on Dec. 20, and running through March 20 of next year. After that, hikers can get the summer decal for completing the three climbs prior to Dec. 19, 2016.

For those wishing to complete the summer Triad, it is important to note that the Mount Arab trail is closed during big-game hunting season, which runs roughly from the middle of September through the middle of December.

Nine hikers, including seven from Tupper Lake and a pair from Old Forge, completed the hikes on the opening day of the challenge.

Tupper Laker Sarah Bencze holds the distinction of being hiker number one on the Triad winter registry.