Blake Walsh

18 Best Things to Do in Lake Placid, NY

  • Published 2022/04/24

Lake Placid is one of the best tourist spots in the state of New York.

The locals mainly come to Lake Placid to go skiing during the winter.

But simply referring to Lake Placid as a skiing destination isn’t enough to do it justice.

This charming village has many scenic attractions and exciting activities for tourists to enjoy.

So, put on your adventure shoes and get started on this journey.

Here are the best things to do in Lake Placid, New York:

Go Kayaking in Mirror Lake

Two people kayaking in Mirror lake

Leonard Zhukovsky /

Lake Placid is one of the most peaceful and beautiful villages you will ever witness.

What adds more to its beauty is the famous Mirror Lake.

Its crystal clear blue waters contribute significantly to the village’s tranquil atmosphere.

Reflection of the trees and building in Mirror Lake on a foggy morning

Albert Pego /

You can almost see every reflection falling on this beautiful lake.

You’re welcome to go paddle boating and kayaking here.

Two dock chairs overlooking Mirror Lake

mervas /

Kayaking is one of the best ways to explore Mirror Lake.

There are paths along the banks of the lake where you can walk if you want to take in the majestic views.

Relive History at the Olympic Center

Exterior view of Olympic Center

Leonard Zhukovsky /

Lake Placid is a popular destination not just because it’s frequented by skiers but because it served as a venue for the Winter Olympics on two occasions.

One of the best ways to learn about Lake Placid’s rich heritage is by visiting the Olympic Center.

Interior view of the arena at Olympic Center

Wangkun Jia /

The village might seem quaint, but as you make your way towards the Olympic Center in the middle of the village, you will understand what all the fuss is about.

The entire arena is decorated with several posters, banners, and stands that tell you about famous Olympians and their achievements.

Entrance to the rink at  Olympic Center

Leonard Zhukovsky /

There is also a museum.

The Olympic Center has skating rinks, too—and the best part is they’re open for the public to enjoy.

Enjoy the Lake Placid Olympic Museum

Jersey and other sports item collections at Lake Placid Olympic Museum

Wangkun Jia /

The famous Lake Placid Olympic Museum is situated within the grounds of the Olympic Center.

Locals say a trip to Lake Placid isn’t complete without stopping at this museum.

You’ll find records, presentations, and placards from the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics at this museum.

Display of an old wooden sledge in Lake Placid Olympic Museum

Wangkun Jia /

You can also see the venues that held Olympic competitions, along with all kinds of memorabilia.

Moreover, you’ll be able to spot the uniforms they wore and the pieces of equipment they carried.

Overall, it is an enjoyable experience that remarks on the heritage of Lake Placid.

Exhibits at Lake Placid Olympic Museum

Wangkun Jia /

Take in Scenic Views from Atop Mount Jo

A Hiker enjoying the scenic view from Mount Jo

BHamms /

Mount Jo is one of the most attractive spots in Lake Placid, and you’ll find many people willing to take on this hike alongside you.

The mountain has two more lovely sites placed at its feet: Heart Lake and the famous Adirondack Loj.

Lush green landscape of Mount Jo

scottya /

Do check those out before you embark on your hiking journey.

The trail is roughly 2.6 miles is suitable even for beginner hikers.

When you reach the top, you will be blessed with some of the best Adirondacks views.

Picturesque view of the Adirondack mountain during fall

Dene’ Miles /

Explore the Famous Lake Placid

Boating in Lake Placid

Leonard Zhukovsky /

When visiting Lake Placid, you must visit the village’s main attraction—Lake Placid itself.

The lake itself is already breathtaking, but when you consider that it’s juxtaposed against the stunning White Mountains, it becomes an even more beautiful sight.

There are a lot of opportunities to enjoy the lake, but boating is definitely the best way.

Scenic view of Lake Placid

Jason Valentine /

Boating lets you enjoy the views, take snaps, and float along the lake.

You can find a lot of private companies that offer boating trips.

Lake Placid surrounded by perfectly aligned tall trees

Wileydoc /

Book a trip with any one of them to get this experience.

You can also try out surfing and other water activities here.

Take a Train along the Scenic Adirondack Railroad

Adirondack Scenic Railroad passing beside a beautiful lake

valiant skies /

The people who take care of the Adirondack Railroad do not do it for the money.

The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society is a not-for-profit organization that aims to showcase the railway’s remarkable history.

The trains are still here, and the society organizes fests and events like wine trips and cultural trips.

Top view of Adirondack Railroad

mynewturtle /

Initially, the route offers scenic views of the royal mountains.

It goes from Utica to Lake Placid, and it is a privilege to ride these trains.

Sometimes, they even hold shows where you can see important historical events being reenacted.

Railroad passing through the beautiful Adirondack mountain

Jillian Barrett /

Treat Your Sweet Tooth at Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery

Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery is a Lake Placid staple.

Serving the best quality ice cream, they have won the hearts of countless locals and tourists.

After a day of sightseeing or hiking, head over to this shop and grab your favorite ice cream flavor.

The shop is relatively easy to spot, as it’s located right on top of Main Street.

Locals swear the maple-flavored soft serve ice cream is the best!

Take a Skiing Class at Whiteface Mountain

Skiing area at Whiteface Mountain

Wangkun Jia /

Whiteface Mountain is one of the village’s main attractions besides Mirror Lake and Lake Placid.

There are a lot of activities to try out on this mountain.

During the winter, most visitors come by for skiing, as it is one of the best places to try out the sport if you haven’t before.

Snow covered Whiteface Mountain

nyker /

If you are an amateur, you can book a session with an expert who will teach you all the basics.

There are also cute cafes and restaurants at the foot of this mountain where you can grab something to eat after a long day of skiing.

If you want to spend the night, you can book a room at the ski resort.

People enjoying the cable car ride at Whiteface Mountain

Wangkun Jia /

Go Bobsledding in Whiteface Mountain

Whiteface Mountain covered with snow and trees

Wangkun Jia /

Whiteface Mountain presents you with a wide range of options from which you can choose your guilty pleasure.

If you are someone who has had enough skiing and snowboarding, you can always opt for bobsledding.

Bobsledding was quite famous in the old days, and it’s still worth trying out today.

Go Mountain Biking along the Brewster Peninsula Trails

The Brewster Peninsula Trails are among those spots that remain crowded all year round.

The main reason behind this is the diverse nature of the activities you can pursue here.

Whether you come by during summer, spring, or even winter, you can always find something to do in this gorgeous location.

The most enjoyable activities happen to be hiking, mountain biking, or skiing.

There are a lot of trails where you can walk and take in the alluring views.

Watch the Beautiful Falls at High Falls Gorge

Stunning view of the High Falls Gorge

Sandeep Pinjerla /

The splendid High Falls Gorge is located not too far away from the village of Lake Placid—just a 10-minute drive away, to be precise.

The waterfalls hit the rock, splashing water everywhere and creating a breathtaking scene.

They ultimately trickle down the sides of a natural crevice that dates back almost a billion years.

Water gushing through the rocks at High Falls Gorge

Loftusdj315 /

The gorge is immensely charming, and the path on the way there is beautiful as well.

There are even boardwalks for your safety, and the scenes will blow you away.

This is easily one of the best trails in Lake Placid, if not the very best.

Get an Aerial View of Lake Placid

Aerial View of Lake Placid

Viktorus /

No one can ever deny that Lake Placid is one of the most majestic spots in New York.

Not only does it have some fantastic opportunities for fun and adventure, but it also offers some of the most captivating views.

You might want to enjoy an aerial view of Lake Placid to appreciate its beauty fully.

Adirondack Flying Service is one of the best companies that take you high up in the sky.

Their private flights allow you to see some of Lake Placid’s best scenes.

The flights last for 20 minutes, and those 20 minutes are pure bliss.

You can see Lakes Mirror and Placid from above, along with the mountains.

It’s like flying amid the clouds with perfect scenery.

Tour Lake Placid on a Sleigh

The people of Lake Placid take their fun and adventure quite seriously.

There is no way that you embark on a trip to this village and come back without any special memories.

How about a sleigh ride amid the snowy mountains?

If this is one of your dreams, Lake Placid will make sure to turn it into a reality.

The village is entirely decorated with snow during the winter, and you can explore all the tourist spots aboard a sleigh!

Go Cross-Country Skiing along the Jackrabbit Ski Trail

Are you heavily into winter sports?

Don’t miss out on a chance to showcase your skills at the famous Jackrabbit Ski Trail.

The 50-kilometer ski trail is exclusively for adrenaline junkies who take their snow destinations seriously.

The trail is the best in Lake Placid and is accessible to all.

It mainly helps connect the four most important skiing centers, Lake Placid, Keene, Saranac Lake, and Paul Smith.

The Jackrabbit Ski Trail is among the most sought-after tourist destinations in Lake Placid.

Explore Various Events and Exhibits at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts

Nestled in the Adirondack Park, the Lake Placid Center for the Arts is brimming with creativity.

The center’s mission is to instill a lifelong love of the arts in everyone who steps foot within.

Indulge in world-class performances or take part in one of the many art education programs available.

The Lake Placid Center for the Arts offers year-round performances and exhibitions in various art forms, including music, dance, theater, cinema, and visual arts.

In fact, the Lake Placid School of Ballet is one of several art schools that call the center of town their home.

For those who want to immerse themselves in the arts, the New York State Council on the Arts offers a variety of online and in-person seminars and programs to choose from.

Tour the John Brown Farm State Historic Site

John Brown Farm State Historic Site surrounded by lush green grass, trees and yellow flowers

Amy Wilkins /

The 270-acre complex was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 and is now a protected landmark.

Do you feel like learning a bit about the past?

Make this one of your weekend’s must-see destinations.

Wooden cabin at John Brown Farm State Historic Site

Mwanner at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This memorial honors abolitionist John Brown, who gave his life to end slavery in the United States.

Visit the museum and memorial to discover further about John Brown’s life.

There’s also a picnic area, historical reenactments, hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing routes.

John Brown Farm State Historic Site covered with snow

LunchboxLarry from Burlington, Vermont, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy Various Water Activities with ADK Aquatics

In business since 2010, ADK Aquatics offers a fast-paced, high-octane experience.

This outfitter provides water sports trips and instruction on tubing, waterskiing, and wakeboarding for both children and adults.

Furthermore, the area is surrounded by mountains and a lake, making it a great place to visit.

Learn the fundamentals of wakeboarding in a one-on-one session with an experienced instructor.

A private boat excursion is a better choice for a more relaxing experience.

Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and lovely scenery at night.

Pamper Yourself at Adirondack Foot Sanctuary

Adirondack Foot Sanctuary is what it claims to be: a sanctuary for your feet!

Indulge your feet in one of their specialized treatments as you relax.

Adirondack Foot Sanctuary prioritizes your health and well-being by using all-natural substances and smells carefully chosen to address specific parts of your physical and psychological well-being.

The Athlete’s Favorite, including a foot bath with purifying Himalayan salt, is one of the main treatments offered by the spa.

They also offer seasonal treatments, such as the Fall Harvest Ritual made with wild orange peel and cinnamon bark, which exfoliates and relieves aching muscles and supports the immune system.

Avail of any of their unique add-ons like moor mud masks, heated basalt stones, and others, to enhance the experience.

Final Thoughts

In Lake Placid, there are many exciting activities for everyone.

Despite its reputation as a wintertime playground, the area offers year-round fun for visitors of all interests.

Whether you’re looking for Olympic thrills or breathtaking scenery, Lake Placid has something for every type of traveler.

Plan your Lake Placid getaway today!

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