Lake Placid is a resort town in the Adirondack Mountains of Upsate New York (2 hrs. 15 min. from Montreal; 2 hrs. 30 min. from Albany; 5 hrs. 15 min. from New York City). (See map of Adirondack Mountains.)
Best known as the site of the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980, Lake Placid is a lovely, upscale resort town that epitomizes the rustic, outdoorsy appeal of the Adirondacks. It’s both a mountain town and a lake town, which affords myriad opportunities for active families to get outside and have fun all year round.
Olympic spirit is still very much alive and kicking in Lake Placid, and much of the fun of visiting in the winter is getting the chance to try out Olympic experiences. Even if you only do several of these experiences, you can likely save money by purchasing an Olympic Sites Passport.
Visiting Lake Placid during the winter? Put these experiences on... your family's must-do list:
01 of 14
The whole family will love this classic winter fun activity. Lake Placid's 30-foot wooden trestle toboggan chute sends you zooming out across frozen Mirror Lake on an old-school wooden toboggans. Great for all ages. Cost: $10 per adult, $5 per child.
02 of 14
Feel what it's like to ride a bobsled (with a professional driver and brakeman) as it thunders down the actual Olympic track. Minimum height: 48 inches. Cost: $75-$85 per person, depending on age. (Discount available with the Olympic Sites Passport.)
03 of 14
Dog-sled rides can take you on a small loop around frozen Mirror Lake, leaving from and returning to the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort. This is very tame and perfect for young kids. $10 per person for a five-minute ride.
04 of 14You can go ice skating during public sessions on the indoor or outdoor rinks at the Olympic Center, and also on frozen Mirror Lake. Rentals are available on-site.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
05 of 14
With the highest vertical drop in the East, Whiteface is New York's premier ski destination. The mountain was the site of the Winter Olympic downhill events. Ski lessons and rentals are available for both adults and kids.
06 of 14
Love thrills? At the Olympic Sports Complex, you can also try the sport of skeleton and rocket 30 mph, head first, down an icy chute. Cost: $65 per ride. Minimum age: 13 years.
07 of 14
A combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, biathlon is yet another Olympics sport you can try out in Lake Placid. Rifle range and a lesson costs $36 per person. Minimum age: 13 years.
08 of 14
You can go snow tubing during the day or night, down the 700-foot run at the Olympic Jumping Complex. Cost: $9 per person, per hour.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
09 of 14
Whether or not you ski, it's worth taking this scenic gondola ride from the base at Whiteface Mountain to the summit of Little Whiteface, where you'll be treated to far-reaching views across the Adirondacks. There's a lodge and observation deck up top. Cost: $14-$20; included with purchase of Olympics Passport.
10 of 14
Snowshoeing is a fun activity the whole family can enjoy. At the Olympic Sports Complex, you can go on a guided snowshoe hike or explore the miles of trails on your own. Cost: $10-18 per person for a half-day; free for kids 6 and under.
11 of 14
Go cross-country skiing on the groomed trails at the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. Cost:$10-$18 for a half-day; free for kids 6 and under. Lessons are also available.
12 of 14
If you've ever wondered what it feels like to look down the ramp of the Olympic ski jump, you can take the glass enclosed elevator to the observation deck of the K-120 meter jump. At the top, you can enter the ski jumpers preparation room.and take in a panoramic view of the Adirondack High Peaks. Cost $8-11 per person; included in the Olympic Sites Passport.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
13 of 14
Located right on Lake Placid's Main Street, the Olympic Center was the site of some of the most memorable 1980 Winter Olympic moments, including the "Miracle on Ice" hockey game and Eric Heiden's five gold medal wins. Cost: $10 per person; discount with Olympic Sites Passport.
14 of 14
Located right on Main Street in Lake Placid, the Olympic Museum highlights the rich history of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Admission: $5-$7 per person; free for kids 6 and under.