Tupper Lake Triad continues the tradition of supporting mountain restoration efforts with a $1,000 contribution to the Friends of Mount Arab (FOMA). Tupper Lake Triad was established by Charlie Hoffer, a retired physical education teacher in Tupper Lake. The challenge consists of the three family-friendly hikes of Goodman Mountain, Coney Mountain, and Mount Arab.
The Friends of Mount Arab (FOMA) is a not-for-profit volunteer organization formed in September 1997. Working with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), FOMA’s mission is to preserve and restore the fire tower and observer’s cabin on Mount Arab to a safe condition. Also to educate the public on the human and natural history of the site. Part of that mission is encouraging proper stewardship of our wild places and historical sites.
“Over the years, FOMA has made a great deal of progress restoring and maintaining the tower and cabin on Mount Arab,” said Dick Bentley, Chairman of FOMA. “In 23 years, we’ve created a mountaintop museum, added a new outhouse, built two benches, and made great strides restoring the steel fire tower, which was originally built in 1918, including installation of new steps, landings, and floors, safety caging on the stairway, and new footings and anchor bolts to secure the tower to the bedrock. Of course, these were pricey projects, and more will come up as part of routine maintenance. As a volunteer organization, donations, like this one from the Triad, are critical to our success.”
Within the last decade, FOMA has also installed a map table in the tower cab, panoramic panels above the tower windows, and added new, aluminum-framed Plexiglas windows.
Apart from physical maintenance, FOMA has also heavily invested in education. “The steward has considerable knowledge of the site and its history,” said Neil Pickering, Piercefield Town Supervisor. “This is an incredible asset to our community. Visitors young and old can ask questions and gain a better understanding of the area and the people who have dedicated time to preserving the history.”
In the spring of 2018, management of the Tupper Lake Triad was transferred to the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and currently operates out of their Tupper Lake office on Park Street.
“When Mr. Hoffer created the Tupper Lake Triad hiking challenge, he not only created a unique experience for people, but he also set an excellent precedence of donating a portion of the proceeds back to organizations, like the Friends of Mount Arab, who are working to improve and enhance our outdoor experiences,” said Katie Stuart, the Tupper Lake Regional Marketing Manager with ROOST.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is the destination marketing and management organization for Hamilton and Essex counties, along with the communities of Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, all located within the Adirondacks in New York State. In addition to managing the hiking challenge, ROOST launched a new Tupper Lake Triad Paddling Challenge in 2020.