The Olympics left their mark at many locales in and around Lake Placid. Just south of the village, the Olympic Ski Jump & Kodak Sports Park stands out as one of the most awe inspiring. During the summer, ride a chairlift and elevator to see ski jumpers launch themselves off the ramp into a huge splash pool below. Nearby, other athletes twist and turn in a flurry to practice their aerial moves. You can join in on your own version of fun tubing on some of the jumps or by racing down the luge track with one huge swoosh.
Many of the Olympic ski events were held at Whiteface Mountain, the premier ski area of the Adirondacks. Like most ski resorts these days, Whiteface also offers a range of summer activities such as hiking, biking and other fun doings. Drive up the Veteran’s Memorial Highway for some of the best panoramic views in upstate New York.
There’s enough at the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex and the nearby Cross Country Ski Center and Bobsled & Luge Run–all within the shadow of Whiteface Mountain–to be kept toned and trained for months. Or, you can just watch the pros do it and tour these renowned facilities. But if you like to work it in the fresh Adirondack air, slide out onto the 50km-impeccably groomed track and embrace the best of nordic skiing. You can also don a pair of snowshoes and lose yourself (best not to take that literally) along trails that reach far into the snowy woods. Down by the combined bobsled, luge and skeleton tracks, you can either be a jaw-dropping bystander or a jaw-rattling participant. Either way, these complexes offer many exciting options winter and summer for thrill seekers of all kinds.
By now you’re likely loving the thick, green nature of the Adirondacks. It’s the water that makes the Adirondack Park so unique. You can recreate on nearly 700 lakes, ponds and rivers of all kinds of shapes and sizes. The regular rainfalls make for super lush environs and spectacular waterfalls, too. Not far from Whiteface Mountain, you can view some of the most impressive at High Falls Gorge. Just like nature, they’re open for viewing year-round. For more rushing water experiences, sign up for a river rafting trip or head over to Ausable Chasm, a wondrous canyon that has awed visitors for ages. There you can choose a variety of options that allow you to explore the contours of this natural wonder either by land or water.
Hope you’ve been looking up some. Because this is the region where you can gaze upon the highest points of New York state. The charming little village of Keene serves as a hiker’s gateway to the “High Peaks” of the Adirondacks, some forty-six mountains that rise over 4,000 feet above sea level. C’mon give it a go. But make sure you go prepared because the weather can turn mighty fast in this region.
Let’s get back to the water because it is so much a part of Adirondack life. Line up your paddling experience at St. Regis Canoe Outfitters. For big lake fun, head over to Essex, a charming village on the edge of Lake Champlain and see what trouble you can churn up there.
The Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, ranks hands down as the must-see visit in all the Adirondacks. Plan to spend at least a half day in this indoor/outdoor center and exhibition area that showcases the history, culture and recreation of Adirondack life.