Lake Placid Things to Do

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    Whiteface Mountain from half-way up
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Most Recent Things to Do in Lake Placid

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    Get a History Lesson: Adirondack Museum

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014
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    Discover more than 200 years of Adirondack history at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, NY. In a campus-like setting with 22 exhibit spaces and galleries the Museum tells the stories of the men and women who lived, worked and played in the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi. As we walk through the buildings the breadth of its collection is fantastic. Tales of work, play, creativity and community are shared bringing us closer to the area’s heritage. Taking time to tour the impressive collections of historic artifacts, photographs, archival materials and fine arts the museum provides insight into the area. The buildings and exhibits cover all aspects of life and history in the Adirondacks such as the Adirondack Guideboats, photographs and paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries, and the various hotels, camps and clubs of the region over the years. Learn about logging in the Adirondacks, explore outdoor recreation of moutaineering, fishing, trapping and hunting. There’s even an Adirondack lean-to, a schoolhouse and the Whiteface Mountain Fire Tower where you can climb for great views of the museum and Blue Mountain Lake. The Great Outdoors is a hands-on exhibit for families and children to experience the 20th and 21st century outdoor recreation. These are just samplings of the exhibits. Absolutely fantastic! www.adkmuseum.org

    We recommend the museum as a “must do” and a “gem” for visitors to the Adirondacks.
    It is a 90 minute drive from Lake Placid, leave early and plan to spend the majority of the day. Everything is extremely well done and will intrigue visitors of all ages. It was a rainy day on our visit and we thoroughly enjoyed the fantastic variety of exhibits. Sad we didn't get more photos to share.

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    Explore Nature! The Wild Center!

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014
    Get a little Wild at the Wild Center
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    Explore nature at The Wild Center. The award-winning Center houses great exhibits where we explore the Museum's 31- acre campus. The main building has plenty of hands-on activities and hundreds of live animals from rare native trout, to river otters and many other hard-to-see residents of the woods and waters. A new exhibit is the River Otters and we watch the antics as these two otters get acclimated to each other and their new environment. In the theater “Wild Adirondacks” shows the wonders of the Adirondacks through the panoramic photography of Carl Heilman with spectacular scenery, wildlife, and foliage through the seasons. In the hands-on exhibit area children are checking out all the exhibits and learning about the “wildlife and animals of the Adirondacks”. Under cloudy skies we take the nature walks around the pond and to Oxbow on the Raquette River passing through various types of vegetation. At the river wooden platforms offer views of the river and wildlife.
    The Wild Center is excellent for both children and adults. Allow at least a few hours to explore The Wild Center to be able to include guided walks, view videos, attend a scheduled program, wander through the exhibits and take the nature walks.

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    Visit a Great Camp - White Pines Camp

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014
    Lake at White Pines Camp
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    Relive history at a Great Camp where in the late nineteenth century, the wealthy relaxed, attended parties and enjoyed the wilderness in their grandiose family compounds on lakes in the Adirondacks. The White Pines Camp, the 1926 Summer Whitehouse for President Calvin Coolidge, has two hour historical tours on Saturdays. Our guide, Jim Burdiss, takes us back to the gilded age on an extensive tour of White Pines with its 35 acres and 20 buildings. We visit the Alpine Gardens, the owner's cabin, a dining hall, four sleeping cabins, two boathouses, an indoor tennis house, a bowling alley, and a charming Japanese teahouse. Walking the woodland and lakeside paths, we learn about the various owners and the camp’s unique architectural style The sleeping cabins can be rented and Jim gives us a quick peek in these delightfully appointed cabins. A terrific tour! Come prepared for 2 hours of walking over various uneven terrains.

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    Hop Aboard a Train and Sip Wine!

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014
    The wine train

    Ride the rails through remote forests, past sparkling rivers, over bridges, tranquil ponds and streams. All aboard for a relaxing Saturday afternoon on the Wine Tasting Train! Riding in an open air car, we sample the wines of Swedish Hill & Goose Watch wineries. Enjoying the scenic beauty of the ride to Saranac Lake, we sip our wines and munch on the complimentary cheese and crackers. A guitarist entertains us as we sing along to old favorites adding to the fun experience. Arriving at Saranac Lake with a 20 minute layover, we browse the historical Union Depot before our return trip.

    Arrive early to tour the historical Lake Placid Depot. A relaxing venue with music, wine tasting and some sightseeing.

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    Lake Placid Winter Olympics Museum

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014

    Walk through Olympic history at the 1932 & 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics Museum. Gaining insight into the winter Olympic sports, the museum has the Olympic Gold Medals, Olympic Flames, photos, attire and videos of Olympic performances. For over 80 years Lake Placid has influenced and impacted the Winter Olympic Sports and the museum walks us through this exciting history. Special exhibits include Sonja Hennie winning gold in 1932 and the Eric Heiden’s five gold medals in 1980. The video of the “Miracle on Ice” plays in an exhibit dedicated to the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. The museum is in the Olympic Center so you can visit it before or after the Olympic Center tour. So much fun to tour and exciting to learn and recall much of Olympic History.

    Admission is part of the Olympic Passport, too.

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    Relive the Miracle on Ice! Olympic Center

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014
    The Miracle on Ice! USA! USA! reverberated here!
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    Relive the Miracle on Ice with a guided tour of the Olympic Center. As our guide Jim Rogers takes us through the Olympic Center, he shares personal experiences as the Chairman of Protocol Division for the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee. Jim’s intriguing stories include how Lake Placid won the Winter Game Site for 1980 and that Olympic Village was constructed in order to become a Federal Prison after the Olympics. Plus Lake Placid continues to be the training venue for skaters from all over the world since 1932. In the ice rinks, we watch skaters training. The entrance doors to the skating rink where the U.S., the underdog, beat Russia in ice hockey are actually a photo of this famous finale. Watching a video of the last two minutes of the game brings chills as we recall this phenomenal victory. Outside the Olympic Center, Jim explains Lake Placid is the only Olympic site that has a visual view of all the venues. The Ski Jumping Towers, the Bobsled track, Whiteface Mountain and Olympic Center are all visible from each location. Be sure to do the tour to better understand the Center and Olympic history.

    Just in case you didn't read the other reviews be sure to get your Olympic Passport for admission into the Olympic Venues and more. Great Value!

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    Ride a Bobsled! Swoosh!!!!

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014
    Ready for our Bobsled Ride!  Yahoo!
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    Experience an adrenaline rush on a wheeled bobsled ride at the Olympic Center Sports Complex historic 1980 track. With our professional driver and brakeman, we hunker down for the ½ mile bobsled ride. Zipping along at 55mph, the g-forces push against us on awe-inspiring turns. The brakeman hits the brakes and with the smell of burning rubber the bobsled comes to halt. FUN! The pin, tee shirt and complimentary photo are great mementos of the ride. Next is a tour of the newer combined track which is used for the luge, skeleton, 4-man and 2-man bobsleds. It’s only one mile from the top of the combined track and an easy walk down. Walking inside the track, we get a “feel” of this extreme sport where an athlete’s body is compressed with multiple g-forces at lightning speeds. In the turns we spot markings where their helmets have scraped the top of the curve. Back at the base is a small museum and videos of bobsledding, luge, and skeleton.

    With the Olympic Passport there is a discount for the bobsled ride. Primary activities here are the bobsled ride and the tour of the combined track. Again - get the Olympic Passport which includes admission to the Olympic Venues.

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    Excitement! Olympic Jumping Complex

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014
    Wow!  Looking straight down at 120 meter ski  jump
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    Feel the high of a ski jumper’s perspective looking down from the top of the 120-meter jump tower at the Olympic Jumping Complex. In the summer, Wet ‘n Wild Wednesday has skiers from around the world doing free style aerial jumps, flips and twists into a 750,000-gallon pool. After the show we take the chairlift, along side the jumping hills, and then hop aboard the 26-story elevator to the top of the jumping tower. At 120-meters above the base the Sky Deck views are awesome. Yet more phenomenal is standing at the starting gate and looking straight down. Unbelievable! Imagine strapping on a pair of skis and aiming down this shoot to see how far you can go before landing. At the bottom, we watch skiers practice jumps on part of the 120-meter jump fitted with special plastic covering for summer training. Ranging in age from 13 to 16 years “young” athletes are impressive and brave! A fun afternoon of entertainment and going to the top of the 120-meter tower is a must.

    Note: As mentioned in other reviews get the Olympic Passport that includes admission to the Olympic Venues and more! Check the schedule to decide best days to go for activities for the summer. Fun and entertaining. The view from the ski jump is fantastic!

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    Walk the Serene & Scenic Mirror Lake

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014
    View of Mirror Lake

    Go for a Stroll on a 2.7 mile walk around Mirror Lake. The Village of Lake Placid sits on the edge of Mirror Lake providing wonderful lake view settings for many businesses. Starting by the Visitors Center it is a fun stroll around Mirror Lake watching kayakers and canoeist paddle across its shimmering water. With wonderful views of some of the Adirondacks High Peaks the walk is tranquil. Across from the Village are rustic woods and elegant private homes. Swimmers traverse the lake preparing for upcoming competitions. The walk then goes through the bustling Village of Lake Placid with its eclectic selection of shops and eateries. Walking the lake is a daily activity for both locals and visitors. With flat terrain, magnificent views, and a serene setting a “walk” around Mirror Lake is very enjoyable. On our visit we walked the lake a couple of times. For many of the village it is a daily event. Plus it is fun watching all the people enjoying the various water activities. We highly recommend on a visit to Lake Placid.

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    Spectacular views - Whiteface Gondola Ride!

    by charlenemixa Updated Jul 6, 2014
    Fun gondola ride on the Cloudsplitter
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    Get a bird’s eye view from the Whiteface Gondola Ride. The Cloudsplitter Gondola at Whiteface Lake Placid carries us to the top of Little Whiteface Mountain providing breathtaking views. Above the treetops the Gondola traces the mountain’s contours as we rise over soaring streams, steep rock faces and thick forests. We easily spot the Village of Lake Placid and the lake as well as the Olympic ski jumps, the Ausable River and even Lake Champlain. The tallest peaks of the amazing Adirondacks are easily visible from the observation deck. www.whiteface.com

    Note: Make a fun day of leisurely activities for exploring the mountains and gorge by combining Veteran’s Memorial Highway, High Falls Gorge and the Gondola Ride as these sites are close together.
    The Passport Pass includes some of these adventures, so be sure to check it out.

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    Awesome & Fun! High Falls Gorge!

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014
    Great views of gorge from the walkways
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    We delight in a walk along a gorge for unbelievable views of the Ausable River as it plunges over ancient granite cliffs at High Falls Gorge. On our self guided tour the walkways and sturdy bridges take us beside and across four sparkling waterfalls that travel over 600 feet through a breathtaking section of the Ausable River. Formed over a billion years ago by forces of ice, water and wind the story boards educate us on the extraordinary history of the gorge set in the shadow of Whiteface Mountain. We see one of New York's largest pot holes as we learn how they are formed. Photo opportunities are excellent of the scenic gorge, splendid waterfalls, pot holes and serene forest settings. A great stop on the return to Lake Placid after the Veteran’s Memorial Highway. We found that it was great to combine the Veteran's Memorial Highway with High Falls Gorge and the Cloudsplitter Gondola Ride in the summer. Good way to spend the day and experience all three sights.

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    Drive the Scenic Veteran's Memorial Highway

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014
    The Mixa's at the summit of Whiteface Mt.
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    Veterans Memorial Highway rises 2,300 feet in five miles offering nine designated scenic stops along the way to the summit with posted information signs at each site. From these vantage points we have awesome vistas of Lake Placid (the lake), Saranac Lake and miles of mountainous scenery. Reaching the summit by the Castle, we park and slip on our jackets as the temperature has dropped dramatically. On a 1/5 mile hike to the summit, we are thrilled as the rock strewn trail takes us to the mountain top. Railings assure a safe climb on this rugged path. Much more fun than an elevator! The summit reveals the dazzling splendor of the Adirondacks and its high peaks. After roaming the summit, the elevator ride down takes 90 seconds with a 400 foot walk through a tunnel to the parking lot. http://www.whiteface.com/summer/activities/hiway.php Whiteface is the only Adirondack High Peak accessible by car and the easiest way for visitors to see the fantastic views of the mountains. Take a jacket and wear good shoes.

    Be sure to get the "Passport" that gets you into so many of the activities in the Lake Placid area. Also check out the Visitor Center as they have excellent information on "things to do" and the "Passport".

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    Hike Mt. Jo! Adirondack Heart Lake Visitor Center

    by charlenemixa Written Jul 6, 2014
    View from Mt. Jo of Adirondacks and Heart Lake
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    Seeking spectacular views but a less demanding climb, Mt. Jo, a steep and rocky peak rising 710 feet above Heart Lake, is recommended as a moderate hike. At the Adirondack Heart Lake Visitors Center numerous trails depart including those to Mt. Jo and Heart Lake. Hiking the Short Trail up and the Long Trail down is suggested to be easier on the knees. Rated a “moderate” hike it is a true adventure as the .9 miles path quickly ascends straight up the mountain. To us flatlanders it is a “climb” not a “hike.” We scramble over rocks and huge boulders on our way up. Atop Mt. Jo the view is spectacular of the High Peaks and Heart Lake. The 1.1 miles Long Trail down is still relatively steep so it’s slow and easy. The fantastic views are well worth the climb.

    Wear comfy clothes, good hiking shoes or tennis shoes, hat, bring water and take a camera. This hike has you definitely climbing over boulder so it does get a little rugged and steep. There are numerous trails leading from the Visitor Center so decide which fits for your level of activity, time and interest. ENJOY!

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  • Adventures in Lake Placid

    by RachaelAshley Updated Feb 5, 2014

    Living just fifteen minutes from Lake Placid for the past eighteen years has given me great appreciation for its beauty and everything it has to offer. Growing up spending days playing outdoors and exploring the wilderness, has made Lake Placid one of my favorite places in the world. Surrounded by lakes and rivers that flow through its towering mountains, trees vibrant with colors in the Fall, it is everything one could want in a place to vacation or to live.

    Small town Lake Placid, NY is the place to go! Lying in the heart of the Adirondacks, Lake Placid is especually great for outdoor enthusiasts. Though the town has much to offer for outdoor lovers, Lake Placid does have opportunities for those who would rather spend the day away from nature.

    I love Lake Placid because it is sprawled out in different directions, with the main part clustered around two Lakes. Because of the town's location, walking everywhere is convenient and possible. Lake Placid (from which the town derives its name) and Mirror Lake are the two lakes located in the center of town. I have life-guarded directly on Mirror Lake for the past two summers. Spending my summer days on a beach has been a blast! Life-guarding has given me first-hand site into all that the lake has to offer. On hot and humid days I never mind jumping in the cold water to help paddle-boarders, tipped canoes, and kayakers. On days where I have sat for hours on end under the hot sun Mirror Lake has been a refreshing retreat for not only me, but sun-bathers and water-lovers alike. Because the temperatures only range from mid 70s to low 80s during the summer months, when a rare high 90 day hits the area, the beaches will be full and filled with people. On days like these, I would much rather spend the day away from the crowd and head onto Lake Placid, excluded from the busy life that surrounds it. If you are someone who doesn't like crowded beaches and would rather spend the day on a boat, Lake Placid is definitely the better choice.

    Lake Placid has always been a fun place especially due to its location. On the days when I get off work early, I walk five minutes down the road to an evening of fun and adventure.The lake is beautiful! Never having owned a boat of my own, I have been fortunate enough to spend days on end tubing and water-skiing with friends. My favorite part of Lake Placid takes place when the sun starts to set. I can't explain how amazing it feels to soar across the glistening surface while the evening sky turns to deep reds and yellows as the sun settles behind the mountains. Once the sun sets, we always anchor the boat and hop in the water with a paddle board to spend the night star-gazing. If you are one who enjoys a pretty view, don't miss out on this experience.

    Not only do Mirror Lake and Lake Placid serve as the perfect swimming locations during the summers, but they also serve as the best outdoor rinks for those who love ice-skating, dogsled rides, or ice fishing in the winter. However, with that being said, I have never experienced a consistent winter. The weather always fluctuates between horribly freeing days (sometimes below 30 degrees) to practically Spring days (mid 40s). On days like these, I usually avoid the cold, or melting ice, and spend some time in the Olympic Center in any of its three ice skating rinks. If you are a fan of the Winter Oylimpics, be sure to check out the 1980 rink, where the "Miracle on Ice" took place.

    The Appalachian Mountains that surround the town serve as giant playgrounds for anyone who is willing to share their time. Mount Marcy, the tallest mountain in the entire state of New York, is located right in Lake Placid. I have never felt like hiking more than 4000 feet to reach the top of a mountain. Personally, I feel just as accomplished to hike Cobble Mountain where I can reach the top in a short fifteen minutes. Though it may not leave everyone with the same satisfaction, it does provide a terrific view! The peak of Cobble Mountain offers a never-ending panorama of beauty overlooking all of Lake Placid and its surrounding towns.

    During winter months Lake Placid has provided me with some of the best skiing/snowboarding on the entire East Coast. I have lived within fifteen minutes of Whiteface (the fifth tallest mountain in NY state) my whole life, and still have not lost any of my appreciation. Though most of the winter the mountain is covered with a layer of ice, earning the nickname "Iceface", it still has managed to provide me with amazing experiences. I have learned to snowboard on Whiteface due to the great beginner trails and also fully enjoyed the fact that Whiteface has some of the steepest vertical slopes on the East. Having snowboarded Whiteface for 12 of my 18 years, it has been a great place to learn to snowboard, and gradually improve.

    During the Springtime many people love spending the days mountain biking down Whiteface's winding trails. However, if you're anything like me, you would rather hop on one of its gondolas, and catch a ride to the top of Little Whiteface for a glimpse of its absolutely breathtaking views. Though I have lived near the mountain for 18 years I can only say that I have driven up the back of mountain to the summit twice; once when I was very young, and then again last year. Driving up Whiteface with my little sister was quite an adventure. While she blasted the radio and snapped pictures out the windows (enjoying feeling like tourists for a day) I navigated up the narrow road. Once at the top, we were able to explore the aging 80-year-old castle resting peacefully atop the mountain. Outside the castle, we were able to see our house below along with the rest of the Adirondacks and were able to catch a glimpse of Vermont and even Canada!

    Unfortunately, growing up in Lake Placid has exposed me to many rainy and cloudy days. I have always felt lucky when the thermometer reaches 90 in July, and always thankful when a winter month passes when the temperature didn't drop below zero degrees. Because I have lived in the twon for so long I have learned to take advantage of the bad weather. When those rainy rainy and cold days have rolled in, it has given me the ideal study time and opportunities to read my favorite books. If you are simply visiting the area, those days are great for roaming along the strip of shops that make up the tiny town or catching the most recent flick at Lake Placid's one and only movie theater. On these occasional evenings I have spent the nights out with friends at my favorite Restaurant (Lisa G's) and ended the night exploring some of the town's best hotels. If you are older than me, be sure to check out the local bars that generally offer quite a bit of enjoyment for those who love the night life.

    Lake Placid is not a large area, containing approximately 2500 people. Because of its size I have never grown up in a city. Some people most definetly find this to be a drawback, but I love it! Through the past 18 years I have uncovered the many hidden secrets that tag along. Because of its small size, I have learned which stores will never have lines, I have been able to find the best hikes and nature walks, I have have grown to know any one and everyone, and received the local discounts at all my favorite places. Want a coffee for a dollar? Become a local, and it's yours. So, though Lake Placid is a small town that doesn't offer all that a city does, in many ways it offers much more. In my mind the town is a jungle of outdoor adventures, with many hidden treasures awaiting those who are looking.

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    Swim in a mountain lake!

    by blueskyjohn Written Sep 5, 2013

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    On a hot summer day there is nothing better than cooling off in a mountain lake. One of the easiest areas to access not far outside Lake Placid is Cascade Lakes Day Use Area. They are two long and narrow lakes near the base of Cascade Mountain, one of the fame 46'ers. There is a patch of land that separates the two lakes and several picnic tables. The lake is also bordered by Route 73, but still a quiet nice setting. There is a small beach. A great place for a few hours for a dip after a day of hiking.

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