Cascade Mountain is the easiest of the 46 peaks over 4000 feet in the Adirondack to access. It rises directly off Route 73 just outside Lake Placid. Because of this it is also the most crowded. There is pull out parking along route 73 and the trail head is easy to find. The hike drops slightly before you start to climb. The trail to the summit is 2.4 miles one way. Over that distance you will gain a little under 2000 vertical feet.
There are a few false summits as is the case with most Adirondack peaks. The summit and approach is exposed rock and give access to dramatic views.
The trail is tough but not as tough as others. It is rocky so be prepared with sturdy hiking boots.
Equipment: A day pack with some snack and plenty of water. Be prepared for changing weather. Sturdy leather hiking boots are a must for safer travel. Hiking poles would be a good idea as well.
Lake Placid has some great mountain bike trails. I ride a lot and found the trails well maintained by local mountain bikers. If you do not bring your own mountain bike, I recommend renting one. The best place to do this is at High Peaks Mountain Bike Center. They are located at Mount Van Hoevenberg and the Olympic Sports Complex. They mountain bikes and have over 50 kilometers of trails that they maintain and continually add to. They also have trails for beginners and offer excellent instruction and guides. I take students here every year and they are never disappointed. I also rode the trails and they have a good mix of flat out riding and technical single track.
Equipment: You need a mountain bike and helmet. If you do not have this and want to try, go to High Peaks Mountain Bike Center at Mount Van Hoevenberg or at their shop in Lake Placid. Here are their hours and rates:
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m - 7 days a week
Trail Pass (if you have your own bike): $8 for adults; $6 for children under 12
26" Mountain Bike Rental - $30
29" Mountain Bike Rental - $45
Paddle Boarding is now my new sporting interest after trying it out on Mirror Lake in Lake Placid. Paddle Board range in length from about 10 feet to over 12 feet. People under 220 lbs would do fine on a board under 11 feet. They have a unique paddle that is bent at the blade. The paddle is used with the bent tip forward. This give the blade longer contact with the water.
It takes a little getting use to. You start off on your knees, centering over the handhold used for carrying the board. Paddle this way for a while until you are comfortable with how to distribute your weight and how the board reacts to your movements.
When you are comfortable, place the paddle across the board in front of you so you are on all fours. Stand up one foot at a time. Start slow. It is so much fun! Some instruction is needed for turning but it is easy enough to figure out. Place the paddle in the water at the tip of the board. Sweep the paddle back and away from the board using you waist, not just your arms. Doing this on the left side will turn the board right as doing it on the right will turn left.
Equipment: Where ever you rent the board, they will provide you with a paddle and PFD (Personal Floatation Device). I rented my board from High Peaks Cyclery, address below.
White Face was my best ski experience in the US. It is a really a huge mountain, with the biggest vertical drop in eastern America.
If you like to ski, I think you'll like White Face.
Many of the olympic skiing events took place here when Lake Placid had the Olympics in 1982 or something.
Equipment: skies or snowboard. there are also rentals of both at the mountain.