While Lake Placid has built up its reputation as the ultimate Adirondack village for launching into the area’s best snowy pursuits, it’s just as much an active destination during the summer months, when visitors can swim and canoe on various lakes, hike miles of trails, and soak up a lively arts and culture scene. Here’s how to make the most of the offerings and activities you’ll only find this time of year.
Activities & Attractions
Enjoy Olympic Events Even in the Summer
Lake Placid may be most famous for hosting not one, but two Winter Games, but that doesn’t mean the Olympic-themed activities cease when the snow melts. The town serves as the summer training grounds for a slew of Olympic athletes, including ski jumpers and freestylists who practice their big air stunts during the Summer Jumping Series. Held at the Olympic Jumping Complex every Wednesday and Saturday across July and August, the event lets you witness Alpine flyers soar off of the 90-meter tower and freestyle athletes flipping into a 750,000-gallon pool.
Get Wild with Daily Programming
From late June to the last weeks of August, the Adirondack Mountain Club hosts a summer naturalist series that includes daily morning and Friday evening guided hikes up Mt. Jo and guided hikes and paddles around Lake Placid and Mirror Lake. For those looking for something that involves less exercise, check out their Wednesday night bonfires and s’mores and Saturday evening entertainment in the form of live music and lectures on everything from natural and local history to adventure travel.
Seek an Equally Scenic Summit
Thanks to an auto road that winds up the 4,865-foot Whiteface, one of the Adirondack’s famous 46 High Peaks, expect to always share the summit with a crowd most hours of the day in the summer. So, for a summit you’ll have all to yourself with equally impressive views of Lake Placid and Mount Marcy, there’s no better place than Mount Van Hoevenberg. Home to the bobsled and luge events of the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games, the 2,860-foot peak features a fairly easy 4.4-mile out-and-back route that wanders up the south face through mixed forest before a moderate climb over a series of ledges.
Take in a Show beside Mirror Lake
Songs at Mirror Lake is a seven-week music series across July and August that attracts the best local and regional acts, as well as national touring bands like the Weight, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, and two-time veterans Rusted Root. Pack a blanket and to-go meal of your favorite sandwiches from Maggie’s Pub and head to the rolling swath of green land, known as Mid’s Park, off Main Street for this free Tuesday evening concert.
Wednesdays from late June to mid-October in Lake Placid are reserved for experiencing the freshest produce around. Every week, downtown’s Saint Agnes School’s parking lot is turned into a farmers market full of local vendors selling artisanal meats and cheeses, crafts, antiques, art, and fresh fruits and veggies. Not to mention, June through August is when the area’s corn, carrots, radishes, and rhubarb are ready for harvest, with sour cherries making an appearance for only a couple weeks in July.
Events & Festivals
Lake Placid Horse Shows, 6/26–7/1 & 7/3–7/8
During the nation’s most prestigious equine event, world-class riders and horses descend upon Lake Placid to participate in championship Hunter and Jumper competitions. The show also includes tours, meet and greets, food, and vendors.
Fourth of July on the Lake, 7/4
Lake Placid takes its Independence Day seriously, with an Olympic athlete–studded parade through downtown, live music at Mid’s Park on Mirror Lake, and a fireworks display set to music. Find a spot along the edge of Mirror Lake or on the water and turn your radio dial to 93.3 to get the full effect of the carefully choreographed show.
I Love BBQ & Music Festival, July TBD
The country’s best BBQ-ers take over the town for this weekend to compete for the title of best pit master, which means plenty of tasty ribs, pulled pork, and slow-cooked meats of all types alongside offerings from local breweries and live music.
CAN-AM Rugby Tournament, 7/27–29
More than 100 teams from across Canada and the US come to Lake Placid for a chance to compete in this event that pays tribute to this sport from across the pond. The gathering is considered one of the biggest and best-run events of its kind in the world, with competitors ranging from high school to retirement age.
Peak to Brew Relay, 8/10 & 11
This overnight relay has teams crossing over 220 miles from the summit of Whiteface Mountain to Saranac Brewery. The two-day race is designed for teams of four to seven and ends with a giant party (with plenty of beer and good food) at the brewery upon completion.
Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge