Take a ski lift and then an elevator to the top of the Olympic ski jumps! I really enjoyed this more than I expected! The views are spectactular and you can stand right where the ski jumpers are before they make their jump!
An added bonus when we were visiting, was that there were some atheletes training and we were able to watch them! I had never seen ski jumping in person before and it was quite exciting to watch! Also nearby were some "hot dog" skiers! Cool!
The cost is $8 per person and this includes the ski lift ride and elevator ride.
Drive to Whiteface Mountain on Rte 86, take the Cloud Splitter gondola up (we did it in the autumn when it was not skiing season). The views of the High Peak region of the Adirondacks were amazing). $14 US for adults, $10 for seniors (65+)
At 4,867 ft, Whiteface Mountain is New York state's fifth highest peak and it is the only one of the Adirondack high peaks accessible by car. There are a few different options available to visit this mountain in the late spring to early autumn months. You can hike ,you can take a gondola or you can can drive the Veteran's Memorial Highway.
This highway was built to provide jobs in the early years of the Depression. It is a toll road and the cost is $9 for each car and driver and additional $4 per each passenger in the car. The ride is very scenic and when you arrrive near the top of the peak, you can either walk through an underground tunnel to an elevator in the mountain to the summit or take a short hike to the top via the Stairway Ridge trail. I definately recommend taking the trail. It is a very short trail and although it is uphill, I did not consider it difficult at all. Although you should wear comfortable ,sturdy shoes because the trail mostly consists of boulders with a few stairs in between.
The views are just gorgeous and on a clear day you can view many of the lakes, Vermont and even Canada sometimes.
In the winter, if you are a skier, Whiteface is considered one of the best peaks for skiiing in the Northeast USA.
About 20 miles or so from the center of Lake Placid is the site of both the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Bobsled runs. For a fee in the winter, you can actually take a ride with a professional driver in one of the bobsleds. You start partway down the newer track, and continue to the end, about a mile or so long. There are also luge rides that are available, but only very limitedly. The luge rides are only one person at a time, whereas the bobsleds can hold up to four passengers plus the driver and brakeman.
This is a very exhilerating and/or scary experiance. The bobsled can reach up to around 50 miles per hour in speed, and it feels a lot like a roller coaster. If you are afraid of roller coasters, or you aren't in the the best of health to be bumped around a lot, you might not want to ride. There is also a 48 inch height requirement.
You have to make reservations to ride. Reservations are availabe for Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and the times vary by week. You can either call or make a reservation at the actual place, but it is a good idea to make the reservations well in advance, as they can fill up quickly, so calling would be your best option.
There is a waiver that every person that is riding needs to sign, and every minor must have there parent or legal guardian sign in order for them to be able to ride. You can get these waivers when you check in there, or you can print them out at their website.
The cost of this attraction is fairly expensive. Adults are USD$65, Teens are $60, and children 12 and under are $55. With an average length of the ride being around 50 seconds, that makes it a little over a dollar per second. But, if you are willing to pay that much, the experience is well worth it.
In downtown Lake Placid is a huge indoor skating rink, so check out the times when it's open to the public and go skating! OR, you can go and see when the Olympians are training and you can watch! Either way, it's worth the trip and parking is free if you can find a spot in the lot.
The New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) manages the facilities used during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games at Lake Placid. It operates Whiteface Mountain and Gore Mountain ski areas, the Olympic Sports Complex, and the Olympic ice and jumping complexes.
- the 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena
- the 1932 & 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum
- the Olympic Speed Skating Oval
MacKenzie-Intervale Ski Jumping Complex
- the 90-meter and 120-meter ski jump towers
- the Freestyle Aerial Training Center
Olympic Sports Complex
- combined bobsled/luge/skeleton run
- biathlon range and cross-country trails for skiers, snowshoers and mountain bikers
We went to the ski jumping complex and freestyle aerial centre. The rates for the complex, park, chairlift, and elevator (up the ski jump tower) is $9 for adults, $6 for children and seniors. It's quite a sight to stand at the top of one of those jumps and look straight down the ramp. We saw some jumpers practicing there as well as at the freestyle centre.
The U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid opened in November of 1982, the present facility opened in 1989. The purpose of the training center is to assist athletes in a variety of Olympic sports. The center also provides assistance to a number of affiliated sports organizations and disabled sports organizations.
Sports most frequently training in Lake Placid include biathlon, bobsled, figure skating, ice hockey, luge, skiing and speed skating. In addition, boxing, canoe and kayak, judo, rowing, synchronized swimming, taekwondo, team handball, water polo and wrestling also train at the site.
The housing facility contains 96 spacious rooms, which contain a private bath and television. The facility has 11 multi-purpose rooms. The complex, houses two laundry rooms, which athletes can use free of charge and a number of equipment storage rooms.
The athlete center, adjoining the housing complex, contains a 20,000 square foot gymnasium with the capability to hold three events at the same time. The kitchen and dining facilities are located in the center and offer athletes a wide variety of nutritious foods and snacks. Also housed in this area are the administrative offices, sports medicine, weight room with a certified weight trainer and a sports science-testing lab. The lobby area contains a reception area, two large meeting rooms and an official USOC Spirit Store.
Many of the facilities used by athletes training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid are the same ones, which were utilized during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. Those facilities include the Olympic Center, Olympic Speed Skating Oval, Olympic Jumping Complex, Mt. Van Hoevenberg and Whiteface Mountain Ski Area. These facilities are managed by the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA).
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Crossing over from Vermont into New York, we were very impressed with the old British fort at Crown Point at the lower end of Lake Champlain. Construction on the fort was begun in 1759 and completed about 1763 in order to control the Lake Champlain/Hudson River waterway route between Montreal and New York City. The site was originally staked out by the French but their fort was conquered by the British, who built their own larger version. Photo showing the remains of the enlisted mens barracks with a view to the north up Lake Champlain (NY on left and Vermont on right).
Lake Placid has been host to two Winter Olympics - in 1932 and again in 1980. My wife was particularly interested in the figure skating hisory of these events and we had a chance to tour the skating arenas used for these two Olympics. Photo of the 1932 arena with the attachment to the 1980 arena just visable at the left.
We took a brief wander around the town after picking up a couple of submarine sandwiches for lunch. There are some quite impressive homes located along the backside of town, on the shores of Mirror Lake - a very scenic spot (2nd photo).
The name says it all! Look at my picture! Mirror Lake is a pretty lake right next to Main Street ,Lake Placid. You can just sit back and relax in an Adirondack chair in the small park near downtown and enjoy its beauty or rent a canoe. There are also hour -long sightseeing cruises available if you wish.
Lake Placid itself is not a big town. A good percentage of shops and restaurants are located on or around Main Street. It is pleasant and clean and a nice place to stroll around, although it was quite crowded the weekend I was there.
If you are visiting during peak season, there is free"park and ride" parking at the train station parking alot. The shuttle runs from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm.You will save yourself alot of time and frustration if you use it.
Lake Placid was host to both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games. Some of the facilities from these games are still used today for competitions,events and as training camps.There are several of these facilities located on Main St such as the 1932 Ice rink, 1980 ice rink and the speed skating track.
There is also an Olympic museum you can visit.
The opening ceremony for the 1980 Winter Olympic games was held at the Lake Placid Horse Show Grounds. At the location a tower was erected to hold the Olympic flame. A nice little side trip if you like Olympic history.
Just outside of Lake Placid is the Olympic Jumping Complex. Most people pass these on their way into Lake Placid. An interesting site and they are open for tours during the summer.
There is a fee to take the elevator to the top and the tour. It is $11.00 if there is no event going on at the complex.
Hours: Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
May 1 - June 17 Thursday - Sunday (Elevator only)
May 18-20, 25-27 (Chairlift & Elevator)
June 1-2, 5-9, 12-16 (Chairlift & Elevator)
June 21 - Oct. 21 Daily (Chairlift & Elevator )
Closed Sunday, July 28 for Ironman
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.