Lake Placid is an iconic town at the heart of the Adirondacks known mostly for hosting the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games. The legacy of the Winter Games has left an indelible mark on the town and its people. Massive ski jumps tower above the trees, and the tall steel structure that once held the iconic Olympic torch remains where it was in 1980.
Beyond this cultural significance, you've come here for the trails and the mountains. We know you've traveled hours, maybe even days to get here, and there is an overwhelming abundance of adventure opportunities. With only 48 hours to spare, Outdoor Project is ready to help you make the most of this winter wonderland.
First, you'll need to get your hands on some gear. Whether you're looking for snowshoes, cross-country skis, or some pro AT gear, there are several places to go to get properly outfitted. High Peaks Cyclery is at the center of town, and the High Peaks Information Center is next to Heart Lake. Pick up a map and you're ready to hit the trail! These two adventures are a fantastic introduction to the area that are great for all skill levels.
The cross-country ski trail to Whiteface Landing is a local favorite. Whiteface is the fifth highest peak in the Adirondacks, and its presence is impossible to ignore. An approximately 7.5-mile round-trip there-and-back path leads from the highway to the landing on West Lake. Find a spectacular view over Lake Placid at the trail's end. Covered in snow, it is a perfect adventure for those just getting used to their cross-country skis. The wide and well-traveled path contains a series of moderate rises and dips that offer a wonderful afternoon of fun and adventure.
Marcy Dam is a central destination of the High Peaks Wilderness Area of the Adirondacks and a starting point for many challenging trails and treks.
From South Meadows, this approximately 8-mile round-trip journey is a delightful route through thick evergreens and northern hardwoods that is typically well-traveled and imprinted with the tracks of previous skiers. If you want to extend the adventure, the trail to Avalanche Lake is an incredible destination to aim for. In Avalanche Pass, icicles stretch higher than you can reach.
While there are many hotels and inns to enjoy throughout the town, the Adirondak Loj, built in 1927, offers a wonderful and unique perspective to the Adirondacks. Overlooking Heart Lake, it has space for 38 guests in a combination of private rooms, bunk rooms, and a co-ed loft. Their talented and kind staff prepares delicious home-cooked meals with homemade breads, soups, and desserts served family-style in a rustic dining room.
The living room is complete with rocking chairs, books, a piano, and fireplace; all are perfect for relaxing late into the night and creating new friendships with like-minded adventurers. The trails literally begin right at the doorstep!