The Village of Lake Placid was home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. There are things to do here year round, but they are best known for their winter activities. There are so many fun places to visit in Lake Placid, New York. The weather here goes from cold to cool, with the average summer temperature around 75 degrees.
10. Jack Rabbit Trail
The Jack Rabbit Trail has many access points, and is a wonderful option for a leisurely stroll. You can walk for miles, or maybe a short 30 minute stroll is more your style, either way this is the path for you. Well maintained paths will take you around Lake Placid and beyond. During the winter months this is an area frequented by cross country skiers rather than hikers. The easy access to this pathway makes it favorite for locals and their dogs year round. Mountain biking is also gaining popularity here.
9. High Peaks Information Center
The High Peaks Information Center is your one stop shop before hiking the Adirondacks. The guides here will give you updated trail conditions, and help you plan for the best experiences within the area. Visitors can pick up maps and other last minute supplies before heading out into the wilderness. If you are camping for the weekend they will rent out bear canisters. They will also rent out hiking, skiing, and snowshoe gear. Take advantage of the knowledgeable and free hiking resource the guides offer while planning your epic adventure through the Adirondacks. The information center will have suggestions for any level hiker including kids.
8. Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails
This system of pathways is slowly becoming discovered by more than just locals. It is a system of four connecting paths on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Placid. Visitors can hike all four tracks for a total of 5.4 miles or just pick one or two to complete. Corridor trail is a short path about three quarters of a mile in length that connects you to the trailhead for the other three pathways. Lake Shore trail is aptly named as it takes you along the shore. Boundary trail connects with Ridge Trail; which is a favorite. It takes you up a ridge and offers spectacular area views and then drops back into the forest.
7. John Brown Farm State Historic Site
Although Harriet Tubman was the most well-known conductor of the Underground Railroad, John Brown played an important role for the Underground Railroad as well. He is most known for his failed raid on Harpers Ferry in Virginia; where he was captured and killed. His home and burial site can be visited here. The grounds surrounding his home are open year round. Tours around the grounds and home are available from May through October for just $2 per adult; however, they are closed on Tuesdays. This is a wonderful place to learn about the Civil War’s history and the role John Brown and New York played.
6. Mount Van Hoevenberg
The trail on Mount Van Hoevenberg offers some of the best views across the area. The route is moderately difficult. You go around a swamp area at the beginning which can be quite muddy and wet if it has rained recently. Follow the path for 4.4 miles to the summit where the views are never ending. The summit has great photo opportunities, and the hike is easy enough that the whole family can complete it in about two hours. Typically this trail is not over crowded compared to others around the area which is surprising since the views are so impressive.
5. Lake Placid Olympic Museum
This museum is located inside the Olympic Center. The center is used as a training facility for Olympic athletes from around the world, so museum visitors will sometimes see famous Olympians coming and going from the center. The museum is dedicated to educating visitors and preserving artifacts from the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics that were held here. This museum is the only Olympic museum across the United States. There is so much Olympic history within the only North American city to ever host two Winter Olympics. This is one of the best tourist attractions in Lake Placid, New York that you won’t want to miss.
4. Bobsled and Luge Complex
This is a former event site during the 1980 Winter Olympics. Today it is a practice area for Olympic hopefuls. You can attend practice sessions as a spectator or jump in a bobsled with a professional driver and brakeman and speed down a portion of the track yourself! Reservations are recommended for this, and it is weather permitting activity. The track is about a mile long, and takes about 30 minutes to walk the length of it uphill. The practice sessions are exhilarating. You can hear and feel the sleds rumble by you as you stand right along the track’s edge.
3. Mount Jo
There are two ways to the summit of Mount Jo. A short trail which is very steep with lots of boulders is difficult, but the gratification at the top is quickly achieved. Or a longer trail that is still quite steep, but easier than the short path. Most people choose to take the short route up and the longer route down. Either way you go the views from the top are remarkable. Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic at the top with friends and family. At the base of Mount Jo is Heart Lake, a small scenic body of water with pathways to walk around as well.
2. Olympic Ski Jump Complex
Even when it’s not covered in snow there is always something going on at the jump complex. Visit here year round and stand where Olympian skiers launch from. The ramp is 120 meters in the air, and it offers amazing views around the area, especially when the fall foliage is in full effect. This area is used for practice year round by athletes. During the summer months they practice on a smaller ramp that leads into a pool. Several events are held here that spectators can enjoy with a small admission fee.
1. Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake is in the city’s heart. It is named after the calm waters that will mirror back a reflection of the village. Motorized boats are not allowed on the water which keeps it calm, quiet, and clean; it is a perfect spot for relaxation. During the summer you can swim, canoe, kayak, and paddle boat. There is a walking path around the beautiful clear water that is a little less than three miles long. Just a stone’s throw past this favorite destination there are shops and restaurants through the village’s main stretch.
From romantic hikes to exhilarating winter sports there is something here for everyone to enjoy. This winter destination has wonderful places to eat and stay. Hotels, bed and breakfasts, or campsites welcome visitors with open arms. With so many fun things to do in Lake Placid, New York, this will be a vacation to remember.