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Top 8 Exhilarating Activities To Enjoy In Lake Placid In The Winter

Lake Placid in the winter has long been associated with all things pertaining to winter sports, cemented by its reputation for being one of just three towns in the world to host two separate Winter Olympics (1932 and 1980). That proud tradition continues to this day, with the Lake Placid area still offering extensive options and facilities for winter athletes, as well as anyone who enjoys an exhilarating day out in the snow.

While you may not be up for trying out Lake Placid’s towering Olympic ski jump (just yet), here are some other choices for winter activities in Lake Placid:

1.  Dog Sledding

The myriad options for Lake Placid winter activities include dogseldding, which provides a unique visual perspective on the tranquil winter setting. The village of Lake Placid’s popular Mirror Lake—a winter hub of activity—is one recommended spot to take the pooches for a spin, thanks to local providers Thunder Mountain Dog Sled Tours (518-891-6239) and Mike Arnold Dog Sled Rides (518-523-3353). Don’t worry if you don’t book in advance: In season, tour providers set-up right next to the lake, welcoming walk-up dogsledders.

sled dogs

2.  Skiing and Snowboarding

The region is home to Whiteface Mountain, featuring more than 283 acres of skiable terrain, 86 trails and 11 lifts, as well as the greatest vertical drop east of the Rocky Mountains, making it the perfect winter getaway in Lake Placid. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery on trails designed for a number of skill levels and ages, or try Whiteface’s complete Terrain Park, with jumps, rails, jibs and a US Air Bag for tricks with a soft landing. There’s even a Kids Kampus with its own separate lodge, ski and board rentals, food, parking, lift tickets, access to the full mountain and shuttle to the main lodge; it also hosts a Snow Sports School, Ski and Play Program and childcare in the Bears Den Nursery for children ages 1 through 6.

3.  Sledding, Tubing, Tobogganing, and Bobsledding

Embrace the Olympic bobsledder inside you and spend some time whizzing down Lake Placid’s speedy sledding and tubing hills and toboggan tracks, from slight inclines for the young ones to extreme slopes for the older and more courageous riders. Local standbys include Kiwanis Teddy Bear Park in Lake Placid, the Lake Placid Golf Course and Mt. Pisgah Recreation Center Tubing Hill in Saranac Lake. But for a unique Lake Placid experience, try snow tubing at the Olympic Ski Jump Complex, or the 30-foot-tall, town-owned Lake Placid Toboggan Chute, which dumps riders onto a frozen Mirror Lake. The Olympic Sports Complex also offers a combined bobsled, luge and skeleton track; professional drivers and brakemen will accompany you for bobsled rides, or go it alone in the Lake Placid Skeleton Experience.

child sliding on snowtube

4.  Snowshoeing

During winter in Lake Placid, when the hiking trails are covered with snow for the season, intrepid hikers simply don snowshoes and make their way into the woods, just like area denizens have done for centuries. The Adirondack trail system contains more than 2,000 miles of walkable terrain, which is transformed during winter into a sparkling journey through snow-covered trees and past frozen waterfalls, with abundant wildlife footprints to observe as you go. There are multiple trails just off Lake Placid’s Adirondack Loj Road, including Nye Mountain, Wright Peak, Phelps Mountain, Algonquin Peak, Avalanche Pass, Tabletop Mountain and Street Mountain, among countless more in the region. For more challenging trips, consider hiring an experienced Adirondack guide.

5.  Snowmobiling

If you’d rather have an engine do the work, instead of just your legs strapped into a pair of skis or snowshoes, hop onto a snowmobile and experience the thrill of zipping along hundreds of miles of groomed and backwoods trails, in one of the most popular winter activities in Lake Placid. It’s a great way to embrace Lake Placid in the winter and see some incredible natural settings, as well as the numerous historical landmarks you may also visit along the way. Bring your own snowmobile or rent one through a local Adirondack guide.

6.  Ice Skating

Another favorite among Lake Placid winter activities requires blades of steel. Lake Placid offers several options for year-round indoor rink ice skating, however once winter arrives and the mercury falls into the freezing range, there are also fantastic choices for skating outdoors. Every year, the village of Lake Placid prepares and maintains a gorgeous two-mile skating loop on Mirror Lake; once ready for use, it is open 24 hours a day, seven days per week for the season. Or, for a historic day on skates, try the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, where Eric Heiden won five gold medals in 1980. (You can also lounge by the bonfire and sip hot chocolate while other skaters fly by.) And while you may not be able to actually skate at the Herb Brooks Arena, which these days mostly hosts skating and hockey competitions, a tour of the legendary rink—home of the 1980 U.S. Men’s Hockey Team’s “Miracle On Ice”—is an absolute can’t-miss tour stop.

Ice Skating

7.  Fat Tire Biking

Think bicycling is only a fair-weather activity? Think again! Fat tire biking is a relatively new addition to the list of things to do in the winter in Lake Placid, allowing enthusiasts to mountain-bike year-round, including on Whiteface Mountain’s extensive trail system, which hosts downhill mountain biking in summer. Popular local courses elsewhere include the Lussi/Caddyshack Trails, Peninsula Trails, Henry’s Woods, Pine Pond Bike Trail, Flume Trails, Bloomingdale Bog and of course, the Olympic Sports Complex. Numerous local retailers will rent you a ride if you don’t bring your own.

8. Ice Climbing

If you thought regular, garden-variety, sunny-day rock climbing was a thrill, try giving ice climbing a whirl during your next winter getaway in Lake Placid. From late November through spring, the Lake Placid region offers countless frozen vertical surfaces for climbers of every skill level, including ice-filled chimneys, crevices and cliffs ranging from easy roadside access to more remote climbs, reachable only by snowshoes or skis. Top spots include Cascade Pass and the north face of Pitchoff in Lake Placid, Chapel Pond and the Gothics north face in Keene Valley, and Multiplication Gully and Wilmington Peak in Wilmington. Consider enlisting an experienced Adirondack guide for the trickier expeditions.

Plan Your Lake Placid Winter Getaway Today!

Looking to plan a getaway to Lake Placid this winter? Book your stay at Lake Placid Summit Hotel for an unforgettable experience this upcoming winter. Plan a romantic weekend getaway or fun-filled family vacation! Browse our comfortable guest rooms to find the perfect room for your upcoming Lake Placid getaway, then book your stay today!

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