Adirondack Scenic Railroad.
If you like old time trains with steam engines and open-bed cars and fresh air (a bit smoky perhaps) streaming in your face.... then you won't like this at all.
These trains are slick modern diesel engines with enclosed cars and picture windows.
The scenery you pass is beautiful (especially in the fall with the color changes of the leaves) and the ride is comfortable. The route is along hills and gullies between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. The trip is under an hour long (one-way) and there is about an half-hour layover before taking the return trip.
The train is operated by volunteers who also staff the gift shops at each end of the line.
Specialty trains (like Thomas and the Train-that-could) are scheduled during the year and aimed especially at the younger passengers.
A beautiful, unspoiled lake that offers wonderful boating. This summer, we stayed in a small cabin right on the lake. My cousins have several boats on Tupper Lake, and we spent many hours boating, water skiing, tubing, etc.
Not a lot of people in the world know that the North Pole is located in the Adirondacks, but it is. Santa's Workshop is a tourist attraction located in North Pole, New York.
Santa's Workshop was one of the country's first theme parks; it opened in 1949. I have vivid memories of visiting several times when I was a kid in the 1950's. There is a "north pole" (a pole which is ice-covered all year), plus a lot of little kid attractions: a train ride, live animals (including, of course, reindeer), a carousel, a kiddie bobsled ride, etc.
For me, the place conjures up fond memories of childhood. I was sad to hear that Santa's Workshop ran into financial trouble in 2001 and was closed for the summer, and very happy to learn that it is alive and kicking again. If you have little children, I suggest that you make the North Pole a stop on your Adirondack visit.
The town of North Pole (yes, it is a real town, with a post office that gets very busy around Christmas) is located on Whiteface Mountain. You can find it on the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway (route 431), 1 1/2 miles northwest of the intersection with Route 86 in Wilmington, NY.
Check the web site for pictures, prices, opening hours, etc.
I am one of the little specks at the top of this mountain!
There are 46 peaks over 4,000 feet. If you are a hiker, this can become an interesting objective: climb all 46 peaks.
The web site below gives information on each of the 46 peaks, the elevations, etc.
Hike (or drive) to the top for awe-inspiring views; in the winter, this is a prime skiing site-- the slopes of Whiteface Mountain played a key role in the Lake Placid Winter Olympics (Lake Placid is a short drive from Saranac Lake).
In the summer, consider the gondola ride-- a 15 minute voyage to the summit of Little Whiteface. For an "almost-real-time" view of Whiteface, visit http://orda.org/wflive.htm
Advertised as 'The Grand Canyon of the East.' Not quite, but quite spectacular. A bit of a drive from Saranac Lake (about an hour, if I remember correctly). You can walk a trail along the river, and if the water level is right, ride a raft. This really is an awe-inspiring place. A campsite is also available on the grounds.
Like I said before, just park in the heart of the vilage and walk around. Lots of history there!! Take a ride of about an hour and go to Blue Mountain and see the Adirondack Museum. The history of the Adirondack region is so interesting. I actually would suggest you find out about the history of the region and then visit. Take a ride on the Adirondack Scenic Railway that runs from Saranac to Lake Placid!!!!
The Railway will provide you with a relaxing and informative venture. Great fun for a family!! It's run by an all volunteer staff and they are just great!! I think they enjoy it as much as the tourists!!!!
There are dozens of mountains to conquer. You will continually encounter views that take your breath away.