SARANAC LAKE — A pair of local women have started a new business to help scratch that hiking itch.
Lynne Murphy and Jennifer Moore, co-owners of peak quest (spelled with lower-case letters), have begun printing scratch-off cards so hikers can commemorate their accomplishments. They’ve also developed a new hiking challenge that they hope will bridge Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.
The new Tri-Lakes Trifecta includes each of the villages’ hiking challenges: The Tupper Lake Triad, the Saranac Lake 6er and the Lake Placid 9er. A person who does all three challenges can register as a Trifecta finisher and earn a challenge medal, while $1 from each registrant will go to supporting trail maintenance in the Tri-Lakes.
In addition to the Trifecta, peak quest has also made up cards for the 46 High Peaks, the Fire Tower Challenge and the Lake George 12ster. Cards are also in the works for a statewide road trip, the winter High Peaks and a sort of scavenger hunt for kids to complete.
Murphy and Moore each said they’re still working on several of the challenges themselves, but hope that the cards — especially the fire tower, Trifecta and 12ster cards — will help lessen the load on the High Peaks by spreading hikers around to other places.
“We’ve been hiking together for over 10 years, and over the course of all these years of hiking in the High Peaks and locally, we always were talking about how we could keep track of all our hiking,” Moore said. “For a while, we were buying the patches, but what do you do with them? And in all of our conversations on the trails, we came up with this.”
“(It’s) something lightweight that we could take to the top, keep in our pack and have the satisfaction of scratching it off,” Murphy said. “It really is satisfying to scratch it off. It’s just a fun way to come up with something pretty that can be kept and framed for later, because it’s a lot of work to do these challenges.”
Murphy and Moore design the scratch-off cards, and then a graphic artist cleans it up and sends them to the printer in Pennsylvania. The whole process is done within the U.S.
Murphy and Moore came up with the idea for the new Trifecta challenge since the three Tri-Lakes challenges are relatively small, but also to get people from Tupper Lake to hike in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake and vice versa.
“We thought about doing a card for Saranac Lake, a card for Tupper and a card for Placid, but there’s not enough for each one,” Murphy said. “So then we thought, ‘People are always looking for another challenge, so let’s put it together and make another challenge called the Trifecta.’
“We never would have gone to Tupper Lake to hike if it wasn’t for the challenge. We are trying to raise awareness and bring the three communities together. We feel it’s important to cross our people.”
The cards are available at or in more than 20 outlets around the Adirondacks, including locally at The Wild Center, the Hotel Saranac, Woods and Waters, Sparkle in Lake Placid and Bear Essentials in both Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Murphy and Moore said they’ve sold hundreds of cards for each challenge and are at almost 1,000 sales for the High Peaks card.
To find out more about the new Trifecta hiking challenge, go to trilakestrifecta.com.