Having hosted two Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is primed and ready for outdoor winter adventure and excursions. We dug into a few of our favorite and sorted them based on the kind adventure you crave most.
If You’ve Brought the Kids Along: Tobogganing on Mirror Lake [Lake Placid]
This is not your backyard sledding hill. These maintained chutes guarantee riders a high-speed downhill thrill followed by an extended hurtle across frozen Mirror Lake, the picturesque body of water that the Adirondack alpine village of Lake Placid surrounds. While the speed makes this a must for the parents, the group dynamic of the old school toboggans makes it perfectly safe (and fun) for kids of all ages. Local elementary schools even schedule field trips out here. Don’t worry about lines, either – they may seem long, but they move almost as fast as the sleds with two tracks and four riders per toboggan.
If You’re Not that Athletically Inclined: Lantern-Lit Sleigh Ride [Lake Clear]
While there is a kid-friendly sleigh ride also offered by Brunet Farm (under 30 minutes northwest from Lake Placid), we highly recommend their adult version: Bootlegger’s Lantern-lit Sleigh Ride. This ride takes you on a vintage horse-drawn sleigh through lantern-lit wooded paths to a secret lodge for your speakeasy-inspired dinner. After whispering the password to the guard, you’ll get access through a hidden door into the beer cellar, adorned with a lavish three-course meal.
If You’re Looking for a Pulse-Raising Experience: Ice Climbing [Keene]
With all of the area’s cliffs, chimneys, crevasses, and frozen waterfalls, there are plenty of ice climbing routes to choose from. Some of the most accessible, however, can be found 20 minutes from Lake Placid at Pitchoff Mountain. Secure a guide through Eastern Mountain Sports’ Lake Placid Climbing School, park off Route 73, and take your pick of the single-pitch grade II and III ascents as high as 60 feet, sprouting from the mountain’s ice-caked south face.
If You Want Your Own Olympic Moment: Olympics Sports Complex [Lake Placid]
Since the town of Lake Placid has hosted two Winter Olympic Games, there are naturally plenty of traditional cold-weather adventures you can take part in like cross country skiing, skating at the speed skating oval, and taking in actual ski jumpers preparing for competition. The one activity you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else, though, is the bobsledding and skeleton experiences at the Olympic Sports Complex, located at the foot of Mount Van Hoevenberg. You can ride with professional bobsled racers down the half-mile track, or try it yourself with a 30-miles-per-hour hurtle on a skeleton sled.
If You Want to Keep the Day Going: Snow Bonfires at Lake Placid Lodge [Lake Placid]
After a long day of ice climbing, tobogganing, or skating, the best way to end is with a hot chocolate (or something stronger from Maggie’s Pub) and all the fixings for s’mores around Lake Placid Lodge’s nightly snow bonfires before returning to your private cabin for the night.
Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge