Lake Placid is a village in the mountains, and few things make that more evident than Mirror Lake. Its sparkling water beckons from behind the downtown buildings, loons float alongside paddlers, and standing on the lake’s shore reveals stunning panoramic views of the High Peaks. And like any good Adirondack lake, there are a number of ways to enjoy it year round. We’re talking paddling, swimming, fishing, and walking around it in the summer and ice skating, dog sled rides, fat tire biking, a toboggan chute, and cross-country skiing in the winter. There’s even a free weekly concert series called Songs at Mirror Lake in the summer, which takes place right on the shore in Mid’s Park, so you can find a spot on the terraced lawn or paddle up in a canoe, kayak, or stand up paddleboard for the best seat in the house!
Mirror Lake in summer
Walk or run
A 2.7 mile route around Mirror Lake in the center of Lake Placid. This is a flat, scenic loop that's perfect for as many laps as you like. You will be sure to pass runners, walkers, and cyclists on Lake Placid’s iconic “Central Park” route.
Canoe, kayak, stand up paddleboard, or aqua bike across this gorgeous 128-acre, one-mile long lake. Electric motorboats are also permitted — gas powered motors are not allowed. Note that this is a hand launch site, so boats must be hand-carried at least 50 yards to the water.
Mirror Lake is used for the swimming portion of the Ironman Triathlon, so it will be off-limits on race day.
Where to launch
There are two places to hand launch onto Mirror Lake: From the park near the town beach and from the state DEC boat dock on the northern shore. From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86 in Lake Placid, follow Route 86 toward Main Street in Lake Placid and take a right at the town hall onto Mirror Lake Drive. The park is on the left, but finding a parking spot can be a challenge here. To get to the DEC boat launch, continue past the park and look for the large wooden sign.
Located right off of downtown Lake Placid, the Lake Placid Public Beach is a summer lover's dream come true. Situated on the south end of Mirror Lake, the sandy beach has a pier and a launch site for canoes or kayaks. There's also a changing facility, tennis courts, and playground.
Every July, the Lake Placid Public Beach is an ideal place to watch Fourth of July fireworks and to witness the beginning of the Ironman Lake Placid triathlon. The competition begins with an early-morning, 2.4-mile swim that ends at the beach.
Mirror Lake in winter
Mirror Lake is action-packed on a winter day — dog sleds cruise the snow-covered ice, pond hockey games fill the air with cheers, cross-country skiers and snowshoers explore the lake, and recreational skaters take advantage of the free plowed track that circumnavigates the entire lake.
Ice skating and hockey
Every winter, when the ice is at least a foot thick, workers with the town of North Elba plow and maintain a 2-mile long ice track around the perimeter of Mirror Lake, as well as space for pond hockey. The town beach is the ideal place from which to access both the rinks and the track, and since it’s close to downtown warm food and drinks aren’t far!
The track and hockey rinks are free to use and open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This 30-foot high converted ski jump trestle sends toboggans down an ice-covered chute onto Mirror Lake, where they can coast across the ice for more than 1,000 feet. Hours vary depending on weather conditions. Contact the Lake Placid Visitors Center for more information at (518) 523-2445.