village in Essex County, New York, United States

For the city in Florida, see Lake Placid (Florida).

Lake Placid is a village of 2,400 people (2019) 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 most known as the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. In a 1980 USA-USSR hockey game, the "Miracle on Ice," a group of American college students and amateurs upset the heavily-favored Soviet national ice hockey team 4-3. Two days later, they won the gold medal.

Lake Placid hosts a Winter Olympics summer training facility where one can watch sports like ski jumping, aerial jumping and figure skating. The town is charming and fun for the outdoorsy and/or adventure-spirited.

Get in edit

North Elba Showgrounds

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

By train edit

By plane edit

The Lake Placid Airport serves only charter and scenic planes. The closest domestic airport is Adirondack Airport (SLK IATA) in Saranac Lake. Plattsburgh is international in name only (no scheduled international flights); the nearest international airports are Albany, Burlington, and Montreal.

Get around edit

While it is easy to get around downtown on foot (arguably preferable, in fact, given the frequent traffic snarls on Main Street), and there is a free trolley service along the lake, you'll need a car to see any of the nearby area.

To get out onto the lake, short-term (one hour) boat rental is available.

See edit


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.

Do edit

  • [dead link] Adirondack Equine Center (Ausable Equine Center), 88 Morningside Drive, +1 518-834-9933. Year-round. Trailrides, horseback riding and sleigh rides, horse drawn carriages on request, on site special events, weddings. Some of the most gentle horses you will ever find, always treated with love, trust, and respect. Personalized attention given and a free lesson prior to ride. Children welcome.
  • Adirondack Sleigh Rides, 6319 State Route 30, Lake Clear NY (Homeyer's Lake Clear Lodge), +1 518-891-1489, toll-free: +1-888-818-2701. F-Sa or by appointment, mid-December to early March.. Adirondack horse drawn sleigh ride from Hohmeyers Lake Clear Lodge. Hay rides available spring-fall at Plattsburgh, NY Country Dreams Farm.
  • Ausable Chasm, 2144 Route 9, Ausable Chasm NY, +1 518 834-7454. Classic and walking tours, rafting, tubing, mountain biking, rappelling, disc golf and gemstone mining. Motel, campground and souvenir shop on-site.
  • High Falls Gorge, Rt. 86, Wilmington, +1 518 946-2278. Trails and picnic areas along Ausable River.

Winter edit

Ice climbing
Adirondack ice forms reliably from November to March. Keene Valley boasts some of the best ice climbing in the northeast.
Speed Skating
The famed Speed Skating Oval in Lake Placid, home to some of the greatest legends in Winter Olympic history, is open to the public for speed skating and public skating sessions during the winter.
  • Speed Skating Oval, 2634 Main St. (Olympic Center), +1 518-523-1655, fax: +1 518-523-5366. Public skating Th-M 7-9PM, Sa Su 1-3PM. Speed Skating Th-M 4-6PM, Sa Su 10AM-noon. Gold Medal Café open M-Sa 8:30AM-3:30PM between the 1932 and 1980 Rinks.
Cross Country Skiing
Miles of groomed Nordic ski trails on the famous Jackrabbit trail system, extending from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid, include amazing views of the High Peaks... or try your skills on Olympic trails.
Maple Syrup
Each year, the sugary scent of maple sap being boiled down to syrup fills the mountain air in time for the spring thaw.
World Cup Events
From snowboarding, bobsled, luge, skeleton to freestyle skiing, see some of the greatest talent each sport has to offer and enjoy the feats and skills of athletes who train year-round for the chance to compete against the best.

Summer edit

Mountain and road biking
Lake Placid is home to some of the best mountain biking in the northeast. The trails are technical and range widely in levels of difficulty. Two local bike shops offer group rides during the summer. Mt. Van Hovenburg and Whiteface Mountain are popular for cross country and downhill riding. For road biking, some of the best views can be seen between Lake Placid and Keene, as well as around Essex County.
Whiteface Mountain
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.[1] The Veterans Memorial Highway from Wilmington rises to the summit of Whiteface Mountain with a parking area at the top.
With the help of a range attendant, test your marksmanship with .22 caliber biathlete rifles at the Olympic shooting complex at Mt. Van Hovenburg. The shooting distance is 50 meters.
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. Local guides are available. Be sure to set out with a group of people with plenty of water, food, rain gear and safety equipment.
The Northville Placid Trail[dead link] (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 Tirrell Pond.

Buy edit

Eat edit

Most 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.

Budget edit

  • Saranac Sourdough, 2126 Saranac Ave, +1 518 523-4897. Selection of deli sandwiches and homemade breads baked daily, country breakfasts.
  • Soulshine Bagel, 2526 Main St, +1 518-523-9772. Breakfast, lunch. Bakery with fresh bagels, made-to-order fruit smoothies and many sandwich options. Cash only.
  • Cuppa Joe, 2241 Saranac Ave, +1 518 523-3479. 8am-5:30pm. Sweet, friendly service and excellent paninis, sandwiches, all-day breakfast and lunch.

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

Drink edit

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

  • Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, 813 Mirror Lake Drive, +1 518-523-3813. Restaurant with pub fare and desserts. Microbrewery has several in-house mixtures, an Espresso Beer which tastes mostly like coffee, an Oatmeal Beer and their award-winning Ubu Ale. Brewery tours Sa 4:30PM or by appointment. $4 draft/bottle beers..
  • Zigzags, 134 Main, Saranac Lake, +1 518 523-8221. Billiards and live music, bobsled out front.

Sleep edit

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.

  • Wildwood on the Lake, 2135 Saranac Ave., +1 518 523-2624. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Lakeside alpine motel, indoor pool, sauna, hot tub. During the summer season the motel has a river-fed pool, play structure, rowboats, paddleboats & canoes. Non-smoking. Refrigerator, microwave, TV, radio in-room. $58-148 for standard units, cottages $138-275.
  • Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa, 77 Mirror Lake Drive, +1 518 523-2544, fax: +1 518 523-2871. AAA 4-diamond, some rooms have fireplace and jacuzzi. Cottages and kitchenettes available.
  • 1 Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort, 2559 Main Street (on the shore of Mirror Lake), toll-free: +1-844-209-8080, . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Eco-friendly resort with a fitness center, indoor pool and private beach with complimentary boating. $120-500.
  • Lake Placid Lodge, 144 Lodge Way, +1 518 523-2700. Only hotel on Lake Placid, with thirty rooms and two cottages. Member of Relais & Chateaux. No kids under 12 except on a few specified family-friendly weekends.
  • 2 The Haus on Mirror Lake, 2439 Main Street (across from Cinema), +1 518 523-3005, fax: +1 518 523-3775. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Stainless steel kitchens, Jacuzzi tubs, 38in. flat screen TV’s, view of the High Peaks. No pets, restrictive cancellation policy. $144-369.

Connect edit

Go next 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. Near Wilmington is North Pole (New York), an early Christmas theme park.
  • Montreal, Quebec is a 2½ hour drive.
Routes through Lake Placid
END  W   E  KeeneJct N   S
Jct N   SSaranac Lake  W   E  WilmingtonJay

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