Boating in Lake Placid
A favorite way, and quite possibly the best way to experience Lake Placid is by boat. Did you know there are no roads that go all the way around it? Some of the properties, camps and great camps, on Lake Placid are reached by boat access only and some of the land at the far side is forever wild, which means protected from ever being developed.
Fresh water springs and mountain streams feed Lake Placid, making it one of the cleanest fresh water lakes in the world. Enjoy breathtaking views of well known Whiteface Mountain at the far end of the lake from town along with Lake Placid’s signature shape marked by 3 rustic islands prominently placed down the middle of the lake - Buck Island, Moose Island and Hawk Island. All of this and it’s rich great camp history add to the beauty and allure of Lake Placid.
The Boats of Lake Placid
Common ways to enjoy boating on Lake Placid are by family sized motor boats (fun 18+ foot or so vessels, give or take) classic wooden boats, kayaks, canoes, laser sailboats, pontoons and sunfish, to mention some of the most popular.
Notable activities on Lake Placid:
- Waterskiing, wake-boarding and tubing
- There is a waterski slalom course tucked in next to the main island
- Cliff diving off the sheer cliffs of Pulpit Rock
- Public island lean-to with dock and fire pit; first-come, first-serve use
- Tour boats, offering the easiest and most affordable way to see the lake (and most informative - learn about the history of our great camps!)
Details of Lake Placid
- Elevation is 1,858 feet
- Roughly 4 miles in length, 1.5 miles in width
- Max depth reaches 150 feet (151’ to be specific), with an average depth of 50 feet
- It takes up an area of 2,173 acres
- Lake Placid has a no-cost public boat launch with first-come, first-serve parking for car and trailer
- There are three marinas on Lake Placid, at least one has nightly/weekly mooring rates
- Boat rental options available
- Boat tour
The village of Lake Placid itself actually resides on the shores of Mirror Lake. Lake Placid, the lake, almost touches Mirror Lake’s north side. In fact there is a walking path between the two to carry kayaks, canoes, etc., from one lake to the other.
Mirror Lake details:
- 2.5 miles in diameter
- Average depth of less than 15 feet
- A favorite “must do” for visitors and locals alike is the 2.7 walk around Mirror Lake (it takes about an hour)
Named for its glassy, mirror like surface, Mirror Lake is a great spot for flat water paddling, canoes, SUPs, paddle boats and other motor-less forms of boats. Electric motors are allowed, but rarely seen on the lake. There are several options for renting (non-motor) boats directly on the shores of the Mirror Lake and downtown Lake Placid. There is also a public area with a loading zone to pull up and unload your boat into the lake.
To the East, nearby Lake Champlain, has at times been called the 6th great lake. With that said, boats of all sizes can experience the beauty of navigating the Adirondack Coast. To the West is Saranac Lake and it’s many chain lakes. The Adirondack Park has something to offer just about any boat and boater.
Public Boat Launches and Marinas
Thinking of bringing your boat? Lake Placid, Lake Flower, Lake Champlain and the Saranac Lakes Chain all have hard-surface public launch ramps. Make sure to follow to rules to keep our lakes pristine and protected from invasive species. We thank you.
Several of the lakes in the Adirondacks have both public and private campgrounds, marinas, boat tours and boat rentals. Book your stay in Lake Placid, and explore the many waterways of the Adirondacks this summer!
Leave No Trace
The magic of the Adirondacks is the result of previous generations taking a long view and protecting the mountains, lakes, and rivers within the Blue Line. That tradition continues today as we support and encourage everyone to practice Leave No Trace ethics, which help protect the lands and waters of the Adirondacks.