Some lakes are strictly for summer fun. Lake Placid might have its most to offer when the mercury drops below freezing.
With more than 2,000 miles of walkable terrain, the Adirondack Park’s frozen waterfalls and snow-covered trees are best sought after with snowshoes strapped on. Start at any one of four area connectors (the Olympic Sports Complex, Cascade XC Center, Lake Placid Club Resort, or Whiteface Club Nordic Center) for an easy trek across a local’s favorite, the 35-mile public Jackrabbit Ski Trail.
Mastering the Adirondack’s 1,000 foot Gothics North Face – the 10th tallest mountain in the Adirondacks – takes both skill and the right gear. With the help of Rock and River guides, its five moderate pitches are a full-day backcountry climb to the summit. Private instructors teach proper snow anchors and tricks to catch your grip, then offer up one of the best views of the region.
Your Ice Fantasy
The excitement of the 1980 US Olympic win over the Soviet Union national team never really died in Lake Placid. So in 2015, 68 hockey fans will relive the magic with players from the 1980 team for a five-day Miracle on Ice Fantasy Camp in March. And while those spots will fill up fast, Lake Placid visitors can still get a hockey fix with a pickup game at the Olympic Center’s rinks by calling 518-523-1655 for a current schedule.
When Mirror Lake freezes over, it becomes a playground for sled dogs and speed chasers. Mushers often set up shop along Main Street, waiting for riders to join them for a chase across the ice and snow. Find your lift with Thunder Mountain Dog Sled Tours, a father-son outfitter whose five Alaskan Husky mixes can take up to four people at a time on a loop around the lake.
Angling in Repose
Just a 20-minute drive from Lake Placid, clover-shaped Lake Colby welcomes a salmon brood stock released here every fall from the Adirondack Fish Hatchery. So, in winter, it becomes the spot to hook some of these landlocked salmon as it’s turned over to longtime ice fishermen and young anglers. It’s perfect for families, as well. If patience begins to wear thin on little ones, local restaurants and shops are only 10 minutes away.
Just a short drive from the Lake Placid Lodge, Whiteface’s 86 trails and 3,430 vertical feet call skiers and riders from around the region. And with almost half of the trails designated as black diamonds, experts have plenty of ground to cover. If it’s good enough for the 1980 Olympic Games, shouldn’t it’s 225 skiable acres of terrain be fit for a weekend on the slopes?
Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge