Located in the heart of scenic Adirondack Park, Lake Placid is a hub of activity all year and perhaps one of the most popular destinations in the Eastern United States. With countless of rivers, lakes, and streams, not to mention scenic driving routes, attractions, and seasonal events, this is a destination RVers can visit many times over and experience something new with every trip.
Being the world stage for the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games, as well as the hosting community for a series of other international events, says a lot about this Upstate New York village. It’s part of what is called the Adirondacks’ Tri-Lake Region, which extends to other gorgeous upstate getaways including Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, and offers a charming, deluxe vacation for those RVers seeking several forms of adventure, or just a quiet break among pure, lush nature.
Camping and RV Parks
Choose from the many designated NY State DEC campgrounds and the many parks found throughout the region of Lake Placid in Saranac Lake, Wilmington, Lake Clear, Paul Smiths, or Lewis. Whatever your choice, the area will compliment your visit to this amazing region! Be sure to visit www.campgroundreviews.com for a list of private campgrounds.
With countless of lakes and waterways in and around Lake Placid, the options for exploring the area by water are nearly endless. Considered to offer some of the best paddling in the U.S., on-water adventures start right in Lake Placid with Mirror Lake, Long Pond (which is only accessible by portage from Connery Pond) and scenic Lake Placid itself, which stretches approximately 3.5 miles.
In nearby Keene, some other popular lakes to explore by kayak or canoe are the Lower and Upper Cascade Lakes located off Route 73, as well as in Saranac Lake, NY. Saranac Lake is also home to McKenzie Pond, nestled in between Baker Mountain to the west and Little McKenzie Mountain to the north, and is only accessible by a 1.75-mile portage.
With much to see and do in Lake Placid, venturing out-a-ways is where more beauty lies in the region. Take a morning or a full day to discover the countryside. There are more than 15 scenic drives mapped out where visitors can eye witness the lush greenery of the summer or the admire the golden hues of Autumn. Also make time to enjoy a scenic hike or browse the local shops and farmer’s markets along the way.
You don`t really need a particular reason to visit Lake Placid, but if you plan your trip during any one of its seasonal events, it will be worth it. Starting June 12, fitness gurus may want to turn out for the acclaimed Lake Placid Marathon, which attracts athletes (and spectators) from all over North America and abroad, including Bermuda, New Zealand, Panama and Europe. Also, every June is the third annual Lake Placid Blues and Heritage Festival, where more than 20 notable blues bands from the Northeastern U.S. preform across 10 different venues. Additionally, Lake Placid hosts a series of world renowned horse shows and equestrian events in June and July. There is also the 46th Annual Lake Placid Horse Show from June 28-July 3, followed by the I Love New York Horse Show July 5-July 10, and The Adirondack Horse Show Come check out one of the United States’ most prominent events as world-class riders compete for $750,000 in prize money and awards. It’s an event not too miss. Be sure to also plan your trip around The I Love BBQ Festival, and The 4th of July Celebrations.
Few moments in sports history can compare to the competitions that took place during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. The second time Lake Placid hosted the Winter Games, this was when American Eric Heiden blasted to victory in men’s speed skating after winning every event, taking home five gold medals, breaking five Olympic records and setting one world record. This is also where the Austrians erected the Austria Haus where they could celebrate all of their victories (The building is still standing on Saranac Ave).
The highlights of the games, however, was when the U.S. Men`s Hockey Team took a captivating 4-3 win over the Soviet Union (dubbed “The Miracle on Ice) that is considered one of the greatest moments in sports history. The U.S. Men’s Hockey Team won every game except for losing to Finland. All of these moments and more can be commemorated at the many Olympic sites in Lake Placid including Lake Placid Olympic Museum and The Olympic Center.
Quick Facts about Lake Placid and the Adirondacks
- The Adirondacks host an estimated 7-10 million visitors every year.
- Approximately 2 million annual overnight visitors come to Lake Placid anually.
- Lake Placid has approximately 2,750 residents
- The Adirondack Park contains 85% of all wilderness in the eastern United States. It is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi.
- The Adirondack Park has over 2,000 miles of hiking trails; these trails comprise the largest trail system in the nation.
- The Adirondack Park is comprised of about 6.1 million acres (9,375 square miles) and is one of 12 regions in the area.
With too many attractions to list, one of the more popular family attractions in the area includes visiting Ausable Chasm, which is approximately 50 minutes from Lake Placid and has been a popular summer destination since 1870. Considered the oldest natural attraction in the U.S., Ausable Chasm allows visitors to enjoy cliff walks among a primeval forest and exciting hikes along the Inner Sanctum Trail. Sturdy walkways, bridges and stairs are found all along the chasm. For the more adventurous, perhaps cool off on a hot summer’s day and float on the Ausable River in a custom raft.
Twelve miles from Lake Placid is High Falls Gorge, which offers stunning views of river gorges, the Adirondack waterfalls, and the famous Ausable River. Self-guided tours can be enjoyed thanks to the modern bridges with glass platforms and groomed walking and hiking trails. Other attractions include Santa’s Workshop, The Wild Center in Tupper Lake (40 minutes from Lake Placid), The Adirondack Museum, Fort Ticonderoga and the Adirondack Scenic Railroad to see the beautiful Adirondacks by train.
If its beaches and swimming you’re looking for, there are many choices in and around Lake Placid. There’s Lake Placid Public Beach, located right in town on the south shore of Mirror Lake, which covers 128 acres, has an average depth of 14 feet, a maximum depth of 60 feet, and features a pier and changing facilities.
Twenty minutes from Lake Placid is Marcy Field Swimming Hole in Keene, NY, which offers a nice spot of flat water and is great for kids. There is also Chapel Pond, which is nestled away in the Rocky Peak Ridge with a sandy beach on the east end. Another great spot the kids will love is Saranac Lake Village Beach at Lake Colby, located on Lake Everest in Wilmington, NY, where there’s large, shaded picnic areas, a playground, and boat launch. Boat rentals are also available.