lake placid new york

Lake Placid is a vibrant, quaint town located in the heart of the Adirondacks — a massive mountainous region which is the United States’ biggest protected area.

Situated by a picturesque lake, this town is best known for hosting the Winter Olympics twice. Lake Placid is among the best places for winter sports, but it’s also a great place to be in the summer as it has a lot of ideal spots for hiking, camping, picnics and scenic drives.

Here are some of the best things to do in Lake Placid, New York and see which ones make your Lake Placid itinerary. 

10 Best Things To Do in Lake Placid, New York

1. Mount Jo

Mount Jo New York

There’s no better way to get an introduction from a town located in the Adirondacks than a climb up one of its mountains. If you’re in good shape, there’s a relatively easy hike up the summit of Mt. Jo. It is one of the best activities to do in Lake Placid as it’s only about seven miles away.

The trails are well maintained and even before you can start your trek, you already get to enjoy stunning views at the base of the mountain such as historic Adirondack Loj and the picturesque Heart Lake.

The hike to the top of this 2,876-foot mountain takes about an hour, and the end is especially worth it as you get to enjoy sprawling views over surrounding mountains. 

2. Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails, Lake Placid

A scenic trail that’s a great place for active sports and leisurely strolls any time of the year is the Brewster Peninsula Trails.

This is a popular Lake Lacid attraction because of the amazing scenery that one gets to enjoy while on this trail. This place is also a popular destination for biking, running, snowshoeing, are great for stretching your legs, mountain biking, and cross country skiing. 

It starts at the gate with Corridor Trail, which starts by going down slightly and continues to descend until it flattens out at the point where it meets three other trails. The trails go along the shores of Lake Placid, then end in a dam.

It gets rocky from there but it’s a nice challenge and you’re always regarded with stunning views. If you’re up for a short hike in the early morning or late afternoon, this is one of the best things to do in Lake Placid. 

3. High Falls Gorge

falls gorge lake placid

One of the most beautiful places you’ll see in the area, a trek to the High Falls Gorge is one of the best things to do in Lake Placid. The hike is easy and suitable for any fitness level, takes you through well-maintained trails that include sturdy bridges and paved walkways.

This hike that lasts for about thirty minutes leads to the stunning waterfalls that spill over rocks and into a deep crevice that’s carved millions of years ago.

The High Falls Gorge is also accessible during winter, but you’d have to wear snowshoes to be allowed to see the ice formations on the waterfall. 

4. John Brown Farm, Lake Placid

John Brown Farm

A departure from the usual attractions in Lake Placid that involves hiking or climbing is the relatively quiet John Brown Farm. Its owner John Brown, a railroad conductor and activist, may have a complicated and tragic history but his legacy lives on.

His simple house and farmland are now recognized both as a National Historic Landmark as well as a New York State Historic Site.

Here, you can visit the house built in 1855 with its still intact period furniture and personal belongings of the Brown family. You can also enjoy a relaxing stroll in the surrounding areas, or maybe catch an event that’s occasionally held here such as workshops, lectures and Civil War camps. 

5. Mirror Lake

mirror lake placid

On its own, Lake Placid is already breathtakingly beautiful, yet it is still surrounded with other equally picturesque areas. One of them is the stunning Mirror Lake, which boasts of clear reflections of the trees and the town surrounding it.

Here you can either enjoy a relaxing stroll along the shore or leisurely paddling on a canoe or kayak.

No motor vehicles are allowed near this scenic lake, and if you’re looking forward to a break from all the hiking and exploring, an afternoon or a full day in Mirror Lake is one of the best things to do in Lake Placid on weekends. 

6. Lake Placid Scenic Flights


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Considered as having one of the best sceneries in all of the United States, viewing Adirondacks from the top should be an exhilarating adventure. How about flying over some of the area’s most breathtaking sites on board a Cessna Golden Eagle?

Book a scenic flight with Adirondack Flying Service, and take in a different perspective of Lake Placid and the Adirondacks.

The themed flights are definitely among the most exciting things to do in Lake Placid, which lasts for about 30 minutes and takes you above places like the Henderson Lake and Avalanche Pass to views of the Lake Placid village and Olympic Venues. and the surrounding area. 

7. Adirondack Scenic Railroad

Adirondack Scenic Railroad

A scenic railroad that’s busy any time of the year, a visit and a ride on one of the trains in the Adirondack Park is another must-do in Lake Placid.

The Adirondacks Scenic Railroad service is operated by a non-profit organization and with a staff made up of volunteers passionate about preserving this piece of American history. 

Here, you get to go on themed rides that take you through some of the most stunning sceneries in the country while either enjoying a beer or going along with a re-enactment of an infamous robbery by a dangerous gang. Best to go for this unique experience during spring, summer or fall as the railroad is used as a hiking trail during winter. 

8. Lake Placid Olympic Museum

Lake Placid Olympic Museum

One of the things that make Lake Placid famous is the fact that it has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, and the only state to do so. If you’re in town, be sure to visit the Olympic museum, which was started in 1994.

It houses diverse collection items related to the sports played during these events such as a 1932 Olympics hobbled, Jack Shea’s skates, and a variety of memorabilia from Miracle on Ice, a 1980 hockey team.

This museum is also known for the yearly Lake Placid film forum, as well as having hosted the Olympic torch when it went all over the counter during the 2002 Olympics held in Utah. 

9. Jack Rabbit Trail

If you’re in Lake Placid during winter and wanted to experience a different kind of skiing adventure, then joining a tour that goes through the scenic Jack Rabbit Trail is must.

This well maintained and well-marked 50-kilometer trail spans places around Lake Placid, then to Saranac Lake to Paul Smith. It also links four ski centers as well as longer parts where you get to enjoy some wilderness skiing.

A fun adventure that’s one of the best things to do in Lake Placid, pack your snowshoes and ski gear and make this part of your winter itinerary. 

10. Lake Placid Sleigh Rides

Lake Placid Sleigh Rides

Ever thought what it’s like to ride a sleigh down a snowy forest? This has to be one of the most fun things to do in Lake Placid, where you get to glide through forests and plains, over small hills and streams any time of the day.

The Lake Placid Sleigh Rides are drawn bu healthy, strong and able horses who will happily take you around town, while you sip hot cocoa or wrap yourself with a blanket as you enjoy the town’s winter scenery during the day or look at millions of stars at night.

It’s quite a magical experience so plan your trip early and experience this unique Lake Placid adventure. 

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