The Journey to Lake Placid in the Adirondacks!


“Our 5 hour journey turned into 8, but we weren’t fretting. To break our journey from NYC to Lake Placid, in between we stopped at Lake George which was a gorgeous lone lake when we had arrived, thanks to the winter storm people may have caved in their homes in the warmth of their blankets. The beauty of roads covered in fresh snow made us go slow and as soon we reached Keene Valley we thought to ourselves, are we the only souls traveling in this direction? Are we lost? The trees parted and came in the mountains. All along thereafter, we had a companion in our journey - The Adirondacks. ”

Mirror Lake, Lake Placid

  • A day in Lake Placid can be skiing at one of the 5 downhill ski centers or riding on the dogsled on Mirror Lake while soaking up the views of the nearby High Peaks.

As a result of hosting 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is home to many sports venues that you can experience for yourself today.
To read my previous posts on USA, click here

On the frozen Mirror Lake

  • You are welcome to INVENT YOUR OWN PERFECT DAY in Lake Placid. For some, it's a walk around Mirror Lake in the morning, an afternoon spent reading on a porch followed by a Sinfonietta concert in the park. For others, the day begins with a hike, paddling a kayak, shopping on Main Street, then dinner at the pub. Lake Placid invites all to select from a limitless menu of experiences to invent their own perfect day.

The word “vacation” was invented in the Adirondacks. In the early 1900’s people in the cities were beginning to realize that summer heat and deadly fevers went hand in hand. The upper class did not spend the summer in the city waiting for a fever; they vacated the city for the fresh clean air of the Adirondacks. The term “vacating” or evacuating is the reason Americans take “vacations” instead of a British “holiday. Winter in the Adirondacks in one of the most festive and beautiful times of the year.”

Because the Pickled Pig is taking a snow bath!

Some of the interesting facts about Adirondacks

1. The Adirondack Park is a part of New York's Forest Preserve in northeastern New York, United States.

2. The Adirondacks park (6.1 million acres) has no gate. There is no forest ranger who opens and closes the gate entrance.

Instead, an imaginary blue line surrounds a vast region that includes wilderness and human communities.

3.  The Adirondack Park is larger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier and Grand Canyon National Parks combined.

4 . The Adirondack Park contains 85% of all wilderness in the eastern United States

5.  The Adirondack Park has over 2,000 miles of hiking trails; these trails comprise the largest trail system in the nation. The western and southern Adirondack area is a gentle landscape of hills, lakes, ponds and streams, along with the highest mountains in the state. The 46 High Peaks (over 4,000 feet) include Mount Marcy, the highest point in New York at 5,344’. One of the park’s most unique features is the nonstop juxtaposition of mountains and water. Within the park are 3,000 lakes and ponds and more than 1,200 miles of rivers fed by an estimated 30,000 miles of brooks and streams.

6 .There are over 100 villages and towns within the park but no cities. It is the largest area without a city in the state.

7 . The Adirondacks welcome an estimated 7-10 million visitors the region annually.

The Route from NY to Lake Placid, NY

We were on a vacation in the Adirondacks during our Christmas Holidays (22nd - 27th Dec). The drive that we took was :

We drove from West New York, NJ to Lake Placid. The route takes you through Paramus (we have a good outlet mall in Paramus), Harriman State Park (For camping and trails), Woodbury Outlet Mall (an outlet mall of premium brands), Catskills region (are mountains), Albany, Saratoga Springs, Lake George, Pharaoh Lake and Wilderness area, Keene Valley and Lake Placid.

Have you ever driven in the snow, if not here are my 17 tips on how to drive in the snow

The drive from Keene Valley to Lake Placid is beautiful.

The route is such you get many places to explore in between if you wish to. Confining ourself to just google maps may be a good idea although keeping your eyes wide open in the entire journey keeps you aware and if you feel like you can even indulge in a little detour or pitstop here and there. Because sometimes the journey itself is the destination.

Many lakes in the region :)

"Many know New York as New York City(NYC). New York is a state whereas NYC is a city in that state. The capital of New York state is Albany and not NYC"

Lake Placid - The Gators Lake from the movie?

Remember the movie ‘Lake Placid’ that was released in 1999 on a gigantic crocodile that terrifies residents? While in Lake Placid these super crocodiles may not be around (I wonder if they are or ever were) but you still sometimes wonder if the movie was based on fiction or is the lake different than this one? According to “NewYorkHistoryBlog” that I read, the gator of the Mirror Lake existed in the village of Lake Placid, it scared the tourists and in 1903 they ran a story called “Alligator in Lake Placid”. It so happened that a friend gave the famed Stevens House a gift from the tropics - and that was a Crocodile. Initially it was housed in hotel bathtub and then when summers came in , they released the gator to the Mirror Lake. Once it was found catching some rays on the beach and because it was small then, it became newest attraction for the curious newcomers and they termed it as Stevens Pet. There are a few tales of Alligators kept as pets.Its quite an interesting story, you may want to read the whole story at New York history blog.

The Lake "Lake Placid" from Whiteface Culb and Resort.

"Lake Placid is a village. The lake Lake Placid is on the north of the village of Lake Placid. Mirror Lake seems to be the lake around which the village of Lake Placid is primarily based. When you say you are going to Lake Placid, its mostly you are going to the village of Lake Placid and that's how it is! We expected it to be just a lake but there's this whole village with the name of it"

Enjoy European Style in Upstate NY

The intermixing of cultures specially European is what makes the Upstate of any state appealing. When we were driving in Lake George we saw Canada Street ( non - european name but still Canada? ) and when we were driving in Lake Placid we saw Interlaken Ave street and Interlaken Inn. The choice is yours. Would you still want to crave for that European holiday overseas or would you rather drive and stay at a place that is no less than being in one and more.

"Its amazing how some villages in Upstate are deeply inspired by Europe yet manages to be so distinctively different"

Entering Lake Placid

As soon as we entered Lake Placid, we saw the board - Site of the 1932 and 1980's Winter Olympic Games. There I also saw an expansive land with lots of snow with tracks. It was the Lake Placid Horse Show Venue.

I can imagine the horse galloping in these gigantic tracks during Summers. I wish I could come here again when season changes !

Winters are also great time to come here. When the snow falls the foundation is created for outdoor recreation and winter inspired events.

Jan 19-20 World Cup Freestyle
Feb 1-4 Empire State Winter Games
Feb 2-11 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
Feb 3 Northern Challenge Fishing Derby
Feb 24 USOC PyeongChang Olympic Winter Fest
Mar 4-11 USCSA Ski & Snowboard championship
Mar 18 Lake Placid Nordic Festival and Loppet
Mar 16-17 ECAC Hockey Men’s D1 Championship
Mar 25-26 Miracle on ice fantasy camp

The adventure did not stop here - we saw the Olympic Ski Jump towers and we saw the Golf courses. We saw these cute motels and hotels making us go awww. We saw Winery, Adirondack Chairs and Brewery. Of course snow, makes everything looks magical.

“We instantly knew had come into a land of adventure. The Main Street is the lifeline of Lake Placid.”

Main Street, Lake Placid

Lake Placid Sinfonietta, the orchestra in the Adirondacks

Holiday Skating Party anyone?

Why we stayed at Hampton Inn and Suites (3 nights)

Hampton inn was just next to Lake Placid Pub and Brewery and the Mirror Lake. Who wouldn’t want to stay here?

There is also a shortcut (watch for the pedestrian walk with the Mirror Lake) to the main street from the hotel. The hotel was very accommodating. We had requested earlier check-in and our rooms were ready. The receptionist even gave me a hand - made map of Lake Placid. She’s like “Today, you can take a round hike of the Mirror lake and go to Wise Guys for food if you are late, its open till 2”. The rooms were clean and nice - we got a room with the view of the Mirror Lake. The breakfast was inclusive and basic.

View from our room at Hampton Inn & suites

That evening, we hiked half of the Mirror Lake from our hotel and a little bit on the Main Street. To everyplace that you go to, I recommend doing so. No matter how cold or hot is, go out and walk a little. It allows your soul to feel the place!

Tip: Get a map of Lake Placid from your hotel.

We also extended our stay and booked a day at Carriage Motor Inn (+1 night)

You can also drive a little! Like we did. We were amused with the name of "Lake Placid". We had seen "Mirror Lake" but we were yet to see the Lake "Lake Placid" and it was very big and prominent on the Google Map. So we asked the locals and we saw it from the Marina and the Whiteface Club and Resort. I still wonder if there is any other place we could have seen it from :)

Leaving Adirondack Park.. on the last day.

Here are some other activities you can participate in near the region:

This awe-inspiring region offers a unique blend of striking scenic beauty, endless outdoor recreational opportunities and celebrated heritage. Play a round on an historic links-style course; pick a bike route past historic forts and farmland, sail, fish, swim, or search for the elusive Lake Champlain monster (Our “Nessy”!).

Natural beauty, a thriving arts community and long sandy beaches; remote wilderness tracts and end-less waterways; the Schroon Lake Region is both the perfect base camp for the rugged outdoor en-thusiast and the perfect destination for a family getaway.

Sure, in the winter it sometimes earns the distinction of being the “coolest” temperature, but Saranac Lake is cool in a whole host of ways. It’s a mecca for paddling, fishing and all things water, with a ro-bust arts community, eclectic restaurants and shops, and significant history, the vibe here is cool all year round.

Whitewater rafting and home of the Adirondack Museum, this part of the region is the heart of the wilderness. With backcountry hiking and paddling galore, many of the region’s villages include the word “lake” in their names for a reason!

Sitting on the 9-mile long Lake for which it’s named, the community hosts an exciting calendar of special events, cultural activities and athletic competitions, and is home to the museum that interprets the natural history of the Adirondacks; the Wild Center.

The Malone region is a quiet gem just waiting to be discovered, with rolling hills, farm land, sparkling streams, and friendly locals. The region boasts ve scenic golf courses including the internationally hailed Malone Golf Club, dozens of campgrounds, Titus Mountain Ski Resort, and small villages with mom-and-pop shops.

Till then, bye. Next blogpost on how we enjoyed Skiing the Face, Olympic venues and Food in Lake Placid!

Thanks to Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, Lake Placid for supporting my visit. As always, experiences and stories are my own. 


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