Groomed trail
Elevation Gain
530.00 ft (161.54 m)
7.50 mi (12.07 km)
Warming hut
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

At the heart of the Adirondacks lies the former Olympic town of Lake Placid. This bustling area is surrounded by the highest mountains in New York state and home to people who have a special love and appreciation for winter outdoor activities. Whiteface Mountain, the fifth-highest peak, looms over the region, and its slopes descend to the waters of Lake Placid lake.

One of the top winter trails for exploring this area is a 7.5-mile there-and-back trail from Highway 86 to Whiteface Landing, where there is a spectacular view across the Lake Placid. Covered in snow, this trail is a perfect adventure for those just getting used to their cross-country skis. This wide and well-traveled path contains a series of moderate rises and dips that offer a wonderful afternoon of fun and adventure. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation publishes a map of the region to help navigate the route.

A sign on the north side of Route 86 marks the trailhead to Whiteface Landing. Here, on the edge of the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest, there is a small parking area and a barrier across Connery Pond Road. Strap your boots into your skis and head down a small hill, across the bridge, and up the other side. The path will remain relatively flat for the next three-quarters of a mile as it zigzags in a northern direction. At this point, there is a clearing with a second barrier. Look for the registration box that marks the trailhead to Whiteface Mountain. Follow the path to the west and up a hill that gains approximately 75 feet in elevation. At the top, the route turns back to the north and down the other side of the hill at Connery Pond, visible on the right. Please respect the private property signs in this section and remain on the trail.

The next mile is a gentle climb that gains about 300 feet in elevation. The top of this ascent coincides with a left turn followed by a right turn back to the north. A gentle slope descends the next mile through evergreen trees to a trail intersection and second registration box for Whiteface Mountain. Turn to the left and be mindful of the increase in rock cover on the approach to the water over the final tenth of a mile. Arrive at the West Lake portion of Lake Placid. This area is part of the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness Area, which spans 37,616 acres across the Adirondack Forest Preserve. There is a small clearing with a fire pit and some plank benches. After enjoying some time at the landing and possibly a snack, return on the same path.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass



Gentle and well-traveled trail.



Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

1,650.00 ft (502.92 m)

Highest point

1,950.00 ft (594.36 m)


Near lake or river

Trail type


Typically multi-day


Snowmobiles allowed




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