From the Japanese art of “forest bathing” to a massage that takes place on a boat in the lake, health and wellness in the Adirondacks is evolving into anything but ordinary.
In Lake Placid, the road to wellness doesn’t often include any roads at all, but total immersion in the woods and wilds of the Adirondacks. Here we profile some of the most unique meditative offerings that go well beyond the four walls of a yoga studio.
Forest Bathing is more than just a hike through the woods. It’s a full immersion of all five of your senses in nature. Guides from Lake Placid–based Adirondack Riverwalking will take you through sensory exercises to help you focus on the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes (don’t worry you aren’t going to be asked to munch on pine needles) all around you. This meditative practice comes from Japan where doctors are writing their stressed and overworked patients a prescription for shinrin-yoku or forest therapy to lower blood pressure and increase focus. You’ll find tours leaving from both the Paul Smith VIC and the Wild Center, both just over a half-hour from Lake Placid Lodge.
Downward Facing Wolf
The Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington (roughly 15 miles northeast of Lake Placid Lodge) offers a unique yoga experience every Wednesday evening. Each session begins with a meet and greet with Kiska, Cree, and Zeebie, the wolves who call the center home. After a group howl (the wolves respond to instructor Marci Wen) the group heads inside to run through an hour-long session of stretches designed to relax the mind and strengthen the spine. The room features a wall of windows which look directly into the wolf pen as well as an enclosure for a Northern Saw Whet Owl named Twitter.
Massage on the Water
If you’ve ever been out on the water, you know the gently bobbing of a boat has a relaxing effect. Pair that with a full Swedish massage and you’ll never be able to go to a normal spa again. Adirondack Massage takes groups out on his 24-foot pontoon boat for tours and fishing trips, but his most popular attraction is definitely the massage. Fully licensed as a massage therapist, Dan Sullivan is trained in reflexology, Swedish, sports, and hot stone massage and each private session includes a picnic on Saranac Lake, 15 minutes from the resort.
Massage in Your Room
Treating yourself to a massage in the hotel you’re staying doesn’t seem particular novel on vacation, but what’s unique about Lake Placid Lodge is that there is no designated spa. Rather, the aromatherapy massage, maternity massage, reflexology massage, Swedish massage, and more come to you in the confines of your room for the ultimate private experience.
Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge