Goodman Mountain

Tribute to slain activist

State dedicates new trail on Tupper Lake peak to Andrew Goodman, who was murdered during the Freedom Summer in Mississippi.

By Phil Brown

A crowd gathers on Goodman Mountain on the day the new trail was dedicated.
Photos by Nancie Battaglia

Hikers looking for a short climb to a view should check out the new trail up Goodman Mountain south of Tupper Lake.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation, with the help of volunteers, created the trail this year and dedicated it to Andrew Goodman, a twenty year-old civil-rights activist murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi fifty years ago.

The slaying of Goodman and two fellow activists— James Chaney and Michael Schwerner—was dramatized in the 1988 movie Mississippi Burning starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe. The victims were helping African-Americans register to vote during Freedom Summer.

Map by Nancy Bernstein

The 1.75-mile trail leads to open bedrock on the summit of the 2,176-foot peak, offering good views to the east, south, and west. For the first 0.75 miles, the trail follows the route of an old highway (now overgrown) through the forest. It then takes a sharp left and winds around the mountain as it climbs to the summit.

The first quarter-mile of the trail is accessible to wheelchairs as the work crew simply removed dirt that had covered the old tarmac.

Once the trail leaves the old highway, it ascends gradually, often making use of switchbacks. Thus, it is suitable for casual hikers and families with young children.

The kiosk tells the story of Andrew Goodman.
Photo by Nancie Battaglia

The Goodman family has been summering in Tupper Lake since the 1930s. When Andrew was a boy, he and his siblings and cousins often climbed the mountain. In 2002, its name was changed from Litchfield Mountain to Goodman Mountain. Bill Frenette, the late Tupper Lake historian, led the campaign for the change.

“The story of Andrew’s short but impactful life cannot be forgotten,” Joe Martens, the state’s environmental conservation commissioner, said at a
ceremony dedicating the trail in August.

A kiosk at the trailhead tells the story of Andrew Goodman’s life and murder.

DIRECTIONS: From the village of Tupper Lake, drive south on NY 30. You reach the turnoff for the trailhead on the left 7.5 miles after crossing the Raquette River (it’s 0.4 miles beyond the turn for Horseshoe Lake—NY 421—on the right side of NY 30).

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