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Lake Placid

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Lake Placid [8] is a village of 2,638 in the Adirondack Mountains in Essex County, New York, near the center of the town of North Elba and named after an adjacent lake.

While the village is a year-round resort, it is likely most known as the site of the 1980 Winter Olympics, and particularly the USA-USSR hockey game, the "Miracle on Ice," when a group of American college students and amateurs upset the heavily-favored Soviet national ice hockey team 4-3 and two days later won the gold medal. The victory is usually ranked as one of the greatest in American sports history.

Lake Placid still hosts a Winter Olympics summer training facility offering exciting opportunities to watch ski jumping, aerial jumping, figure skating, etc. The town is charming and fun especially for the outdoorsy and/or adventure-spirited traveler, as well as for families looking to get away for the weekend.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Lake Placid is about 5 hours from New York City and 2 1/2 hours from Montreal. From Interstate 87 take Route 9N and follow the signs.

By bus[edit]

Adirondack Trailways Service (1-800-225-6815) travels between New York City, Albany, and Lake Placid with stops along the way.

By train[edit]

The closest Amtrak station is Westport, 40 miles east of Lake Placid. Amtrak runs a shuttle bus service to the village. Call for reservations 1-800-888-8478.

By air[edit]

The Lake Placid Airport serves only charter and scenic planes. The closest domestic airport is Adirondack Airport in Saranac Lake. The closest international airports are Plattsburgh NY, Albany, Burlington (Vermont), and Montreal (Quebec).

Get around[edit]

While the downtown strip can easily be seen on foot, and there is a free trolley service along the lake, you'll need a car to see any of the nearby area.

See[edit][add listing]


Lake Placid is in the Adirondack Park, the largest state park east of the Mississippi River. It is home to 46 High Peaks, all of which rise above 4000 feet, and many of which can be viewed simultaneously from the summit of many of the neighboring mountains. On a clear day it is possible to see Vermont, New York, and Canada from the summit of Whiteface Mountain, which is located adjacent to Lake Placid.

  • Lake Placid Center for the Arts is a gallery and theater

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Adirondack Equine Center (Ausable Equine Center), 88 Morningside Drive Lake Placid, NY (Lake Placid Trailrides - Lake Placid Sleigh Rides), 518-834-9933, [1]. All year round. We offer horseback riding and sleigh rides right in the heart of the Adirondacks, in Lake Placid. Also available upon request are horse drawn carriages, on site special events, weddings. Has some of the most gentle horses you will ever find and they are always treated with love, trust, and respect. Personalized attention given and a free lesson prior to ride. Children Welcome. ,  edit
  • Adirondack Sleigh Rides (Holiday Sleigh Rides), Lake Placid, NY region (on website), 888-818-2701, [2]. by appointment. Adirondack sleigh rides from mid-December to early March. Horse drawn sleigh ride from Hohmeyers Lake Clear Lodge, Lake Clear, NY F-Sa and all other days by appointment. Serving Lake Placid, Whiteface Mt, and Adirondack region. Hay rides available spring-fall at Plattsburgh, NY Country Dreams Farm.  edit


Ice Climbing: [9] Keene Valley boasts some of the best ice climbing in the northeast as Adirondack ice forms reliably from November to March. In early December, the Rock and River Adirondack Guide Service in Keene, NY creates a forty foot high ice wall complete with viewing benches and spotlights for those looking to extend their experiences beyond the daylight hours.

Speed Skating: [10] The famed Speed Skating Oval in Lake Placid is home to some of the greatest legends in Winter Olympic history. You can take part in this heritage by strapping on a pair of speed skates from Dimon Sports – custom fitted and hand sharpened – every day in the afternoon during special public sessions.

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival: [11] Winter comes alive with Saranac Lake’s annual carnival held since 1897. Each year the Carnival is based on a different theme, and to kick off the ten-day event a royal court is crowned, complete with a king and queen. Watch the famous Ice Palace takes shape or join in the Nordic ski and snowshoe races.

Cross Country Skiing: [12] Explore the miles of groomed Nordic ski trails on the famous Jackrabbit trail system, extending from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid, which include some of the most amazing views of the High Peaks. Or try your skills on Olympic trails.

Maple Syrup: [13] From late February onward the smoky sweet aroma of maple syrup as it’s boiled down to that delicious amber liquid wafts through the mountain air and beckons visitors to taste this sugary treat.

World Cup Events: [14] The many world cup events being held in Lake Placid every year are fantastic opportunities to see some of the greatest talent each sport has to offer. From snowboarding, bobsled, luge, skeleton, and freestyle skiing, enjoy the feats and skills of athletes who train year-round for the chance to compete against the best.



Mountain Biking: [15] Lake Placid is home to some of the best mountain biking in the northeast. A true east-coast riding experience, the trails are technical and range widely in levels of difficulty. Two bike shops in town offer professional service and sales, as well as group rides during the summer. Mt. Van Hovenburg and Whiteface Mountain are both meccas for cross country and downhill riding.

Road Biking: [16] The Adirondacks have thousands of miles of road on which to ride. Some of the best views can be seen between Lake Placid and Keene, as well as all around Essex County. Whether you want to bring the family or come up to train, the road biking in Lake Placid is a fantastic experience.

Biathlon: [17] With the help of a range attendant you can test your marksmanship with .22 caliber biathlete rifles at the Olympic shooting complex at Mt. Van Hovenburg. The shooting distance is 50 meters.

Cloudsplitter Gondola: [18] The 8-passenger Cloudsplitter Gondola takes visitors from the base of Whiteface to the summit of Little Whiteface in about fifteen minutes. With views of the trails, the Ausable River, and the Intervale Ski Jumping Complex, the ride is definitely spectacular.

Veterans Memorial Highway: [19] Beginning in Wilmington, the Veterans Memorial Highway rises to the summit of Whiteface Mountain. There is a parking area at the top.

Hiking: [20] All 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks can be reached from the vicinity of Lake Placid by car. Some are more strenuous than others, and while many have well-beaten paths leading to their summits, many require significant bushwhacking to ascend. Be sure to set out with a group of people with plenty of water and food as well as rain gear and safety equipment. If you desire, local guides can help you make your trek to the top more enjoyable.

Hike the Northville-Placid Trail: [21] The Northville Placid Trail (NPT) is a 133-mile footpath that crosses the heart of the Adirondack Park in New York State from Northville, NY to Lake Placid, NY. It is considered a lowland trail in that it doesn’t cross mountain peaks or follow mountain ridges. The trail passes through what many consider the wildest and most remote parts of the Adirondack Park, notably the high plateau that encompasses the Spruce, West Canada, and Cedar lakes area, along with that of the Cold River. The highest point the N-P Trail reaches (3008 ft) is at the crest of the ridge to the E of Blue Mt. and of Tirrell Pond. [22] for Northville Placid Trail latest trail conditions, hike planning help and more.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Just a small selection of the many types of stores located in Lake Placid:

Adirondack Decorative Arts and Crafts: [23] featured on Rachel Ray's "Tasty Travels"

Ruthies Run: [24] providing upscale outerwear and expert service

Adirondack Museum on Main Store and Gallery: rustic crafts, art and photography located downtown

Adirondack Yarns: [25] located next to Cuppa Joe, sip coffee and shop for yarn. Workshops also available

Bookstore Plus: [26] full selection of books including uniquely Adirondack titles

Placid Planet Bicycles: [27] great service and selection on profession quality bicycles and accessories

  • The Equine Center, Lake Placid NY, 518-834-9933, [3]. 10:30AM - 8PM. Adirondack Sleigh Rides in Lake Placid NY. Deluxe sleigh with detachable covered top and wheels for when the weather isn't so cooperative. Lantern lite trails. Private rides available. Blankets provided. Come enjoy winter the old fashioned way. 518-834-9933  edit
  • Lake Placid Christmas Co., 2435 Main Street, 518-523-8210, [4]. A year-round Christmas store that is for more than just Christmas. They sell a wide range of souvenirs, like mini Adirondack chairs. Also a great stop for homemade fudge!  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Lake Placid offers a variety of different dining options. Depending on your choice of budget, atmosphere, and tastes, there is basically something for everyone. Most of the visitor-targeted restaurants can be found on Main St. along the lake front. More local options are on Highway 86 and 73 on either ends of town.


  • Saranac Sourdough Route 86 about 1 mile from downtown. Homemade breads, deli sandwiches, country breakfasts.
  • Soulshine Bagel: great for breakfast or lunch, many bagel and sandwich options. Main St. Cash only.
  • Cuppa Joe: sweet, friendly service and excellent paninis


  • Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Company 34 Main Street. [28] Upscale pub grub including meat, fish, and (a few) veggie options in a dark wood and leather decorated room across the street from the lake. Brunch served on weekends. Children's menu.
  • Black Bear Restaurant
  • Nicolas on Main: [29] mid-range to upscale Mediterranean dining
  • Lake Placid Pub and Brewery ("PJ's"): [30] home of Lake Placid Ubu Ale, great Pub Grub
  • Lisa G's: [31] family, mid-range atmosphere and lots of fun
  • Caribbean Cowboy: grill and southern style cuisine, one of the best
  • Bluesberry's Bakery: [32] great for croissants and scones with coffee in the morning
  • Villa Vespa: homemade sauce, pasta, and pizza, a little bit of heaven
  • Mykono's: a taste of Greece in the Adirondacks, with outdoor seating as well
  • Tail O'the Pup: outdoor BBQ and fish fries, great for the whole family. Located in Ray Brook with live music a full bar!
  • Sugar Shack Dessert Company, 2567 Main St, ☎ (518) 523-7540. Bakery; specialty desserts.


  • The Boathouse: [33] on Mirror Lake, upscale and family dining
  • Brown Dog Cafe and Wine Bar: great wine selection and excellent lunch food. Offers multi-course tasting menus as well as a la carte dishes.
  • Milano North: [34] upscale and casual, excellent service
  • Interlaken Inn: [35] Tuscan wine cellar, awarded by national wine publications
  • The Cottage: [36] upscale Pub Grub and excellent nachos
  • Veranda: [37] Bill Clinton celebrated his 54th birthday here, great views of the mountains
  • Paradox Lodge: [38] amazing upscale cuisine
  • Whiteface Lodge: [39] rated nationally, one of the most elegant and tasteful dining experiences

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are several bars right along the main strip of the town.

  • Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, 14 Shore Drive (a block away from main street), 523-3813. This microbrewery has several in-house mixtures, including an interesting Espresso Beer which tastes mostly like coffee, as well as an Oatmeal Beer which is quite scrumptious and their award wining Ubu Ale. Pub food dinner and desserts. $4 draft/bottle beers.
  • Zigzags, located at 134 Main, is a fun spot with pool and live music. It has a bobsled out front.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are numerous resort hotels located in town as well as Bed and Breakfasts in the surrounding area. If a longer stay is desired, various condominiums and timeshare plans are available as well.

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Lake Placid, 801 Mirror Lake Drive (Overlooking Mirror Lake), +1-518-523-9500 (fax: +1-518-523-9505), [5]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11:00 am. Enjoy free hot breakfast, wifi throughout, fitness center, business center, and heated indoor swimming pool and whirlpool.  edit
  • Wildwood on the lake, [6]. Lakeside alpine motel with indoor heated pool, sauna, and hot tub. During the summer season the motel has boats, a river-fed pool, play structure, and free rowboats, paddleboats & canoes. Accommodations are non-smoking. $58-$148 for standard units, cottages $138 - $275.  edit
  • Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa. [40] AAA 4-diamond property walking distance from downtown.
  • Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort. [41]AAA 3-diamond Eco-Friendly Resort. Located on the shore of Mirror Lake and the heart of the village. Rated 4 Leaves by the Audubon Society. $79-$499. (800)582-5540 or (518)523-3353.
  • The Haus on Mirror Lake (The House on Mirror Lake), 2439 Main Street (across from Cinema), 518.523.3005, [7]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Uses fair trade or eco friendly furniture manufacturers. Full stainless steel kitchens, Jacuzzi tubs, 38in. flat screen TV’s, fantastic views of the High Peaks and all the convenience of Main Street shopping & dining. 144-369. (44.290399,-73.985114) edit

Get out[edit]

  • Keene Valley is less than twenty miles away and offers great hiking, camping, and climbing.
  • Wilmington is less that twelve miles away and offers great hiking, downhill skiing, ice climbing, mountain biking, and fly fishing. It is the home of Whiteface Mountain which hosted the downhill skiing events for the 1980 Winter Olympics. It is also home to the West Branch of the Ausable River which is considered one of the best trout streams in the East.
  • Montreal, and Quebec are 2 1/2 hour drive.
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