What’s Doing in Lake Placid, New York
The Olympic Spirit Lives on in the Winter Sports Capital of the World
Located in the Adirondack Mountains in northeastern New York State, Lake Placid is best known as the host of both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games and the site of the “Miracle on Ice,” the medal-round of men’s hockey in which the U.S. team defeated the Soviet Union for the gold medal. Currently, the village has a population of 2,521 and offers visitors a taste of nature and Olympic winter sports.
Vacations in the Adirondack region became very popular in the late 1800s, as wealthy Americans strove to escape the summer heat.. The Lake Placid Club drew much attention from the rich and famous as did the Placid Park Club, which was designed in 1895 by Melvin Dewey. Keeping the Placid Park Club open in the winter led to the development of winter sports throughout the area including the creation of a ski jump and a speed skating venue.
Today, the village continues to host sporting events including the Ironman Lake Placid Triathlon, the Winter Empire State Games, the Lake Placid and I Love New York Horse Shows, the Adirondacks Ragnar Relay, and the Lake Placid Marathon. Tourists and visitors continue to flock back year after year as well, mainly to explore the Adirondack wilderness but also to enjoy a variety of performing arts, ride the historic Adirondack Scenic Railroad, and enjoy the beauty of the distinct area.
WHAT TO DO
Begin your adventure at one of the village’s most breathtaking spots, Mirror Lake. Mirror Lake offers visitors many activities including paddle boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing. However, no motorized boating of any kind is permitted. Visitors are also encouraged to stroll the paved path that circumnavigates the lake and leads into the village of Lake Placid. On the walk through the village, visitors can take a peek into antique shops, ski shops, and local farmers markets on Main Street. The shops are emblematic of a friendly small town and you’ll often find the owner behind the counter.
Many of the shops sell local goods including iconic Adirondack chairs, a simple wooden chair made with 11 flat wooden boards, a straight back, and wide armrests. The Lake Placid Christmas Company sells a variety of holiday-themed items but the real reason to go there is what we consider to be the best fudge in the Northeast. The Adirondack Popcorn company offers dozens of flavored popcorn treats and is also worth a stop.
The Lake Placid Olympic Center is the home of Lake Placid Olympic Museum, which relates the story of how the small village played host to the world during two Winter Olympics roughly 50 years apart. Guided tours are available and don’t miss seeing the video of the Miracle on Ice hockey match. The Center also hosts conferences and continues to serve as a home to international competitions.