I have heard the walk around Lake Placid's Mirror Lake referred to as "the fitness trail." I inquired at the Lake Placid/Essex County Convention and Visitor's Bureau and am told that though it is a nice 2.7-mile walk there are no fitness stations along the easily recognizable red-bricked sidewalk.
We park the car on Parkside Drive, adjacent to a playground, tennis courts and the public beach. The public beach is still filled with people and the shoreline a buzz with activity.
There are tennis courts and a playground at the south end of the lake adjacent to the village beach so, if motivated, I could do a few pull-ups on the monkey bars to constitute the complete fitness angle. This Adirondack family of four can create their own fitness trail.
We head north around the aptly named Mirror Lake Drive keeping the water to our left. Families are out enjoying the sunset, walking dogs and chatting with neighbors. I follow the sidewalk set with brick-colored paving stones. The lane is primarily used for walking and jogging. Grey plaques are inset into the pathway naming each of the Adirondack 46 High Peaks with its corresponding elevation.
As an Adirondack guide, my husband is a 46er ten times over and has some story to tell as we pass each mountain's name, though no prior knowledge is required. If there was such a thing I would be an Adirondack "21er" with the Dix Range and Mt. Marcy as peaks I have achieved. I set my children on a quest to find Mt. Marcy, the highest mountain in New York State. They seem to find plenty of other ways to entertain themselves on this level, easy path.
As we walk the brick trail, my children search for my summits along the way. I've climbed some of my 21 peaks more than once and may eventually branch out but never feel the need to hike just to complete a list. For me, it's all about the climb. Good grief. Is it the Miley Cyrus curse or effect? The outcome is the same. The CD is on constant repeat.
I appreciate those people with hiking goals. This may be the only time I "walk" over the rest of these mountains so I make sure to step on each marker along the way. My children happily run ahead searching for the next "mountain." With my children, it's all about speed so there is no time to relax on the benches and enjoy the view.
What a beautiful walk. From Mirror Lake Drive the walkway heads toward Main Street. I am not ashamed to admit that looking at the houses and peeking in the storefronts is part of the appeal. The architecture integrates with the environment and walkway gardens are pristine. I end my fitness routine with Main Street's retail outlet obstacle course and wonder if perhaps my wallet got the best workout.
The loop takes about 45 minutes to end up back at Lake Placid's public beach. Of course a brief stop for ice cream is added to our time.
© Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Time. Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time guidebook series and co-owner of the the young adult wilderness adventure program, Adirondack Outdoor Expeditions.