Find your own perfect way... 

You may often hear us make the suggestion that all are welcome to “invent your own perfect day" in Lake Placid. But what exactly does that mean? 

Inventing your own perfect day is a simplified way of saying that Lake Placid is a place where you’re free to join in and fill your days with the things that make life more adventurous, romantic, and fun. You get to pick, choose, plan, and create YOUR OWN unique combination of experiences customized perfectly for you. And trust me, the possibilities are pretty close to endless. 

As you begin to plan your perfect summer day, you will quickly learn that many of these combinations of activities can be found at just one location within the greater Lake Placid area. To give you a sampling, here is a breakdown of the top three ways to experience the hot spots in and around Lake Placid, New York.

Grid of images. Hiking, Gondola ride, and Whiteface Memorial Highway

Whiteface Mountain

Located just 13 miles from Lake Placid, skiers and riders flock to Whiteface Mountain every winter to experience the greatest vertical drop on the east coast with terrain for all levels of experience. But when the snow melts away, the fun doesn't stop. 

Option 1: Hike it! As the 5th highest peak in New York state, Whiteface Mountain is a unique hiking destination and the perfect fit for a 3-in-1 list as there are 3 different routes to hike this Adirondack High Peak. 

Option 2: Drive up the highest road in New York State. Experience the unique opportunity of driving or riding up the historic Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway to the top to find a stone castle, a restaurant, gift shop, and an elevator carved inside the mountaintop. At the end of your drive, you may also choose to hike the one-fifth-of-a-mile stone nature trail to the top to soak in the 360-degree views.   

Option 3: Take a scenic gondola ride. From the base of the ski mountain, take a scenic ride in the Cloudsplitter Gondola to the peak of Little Whiteface. At the top, get out and take in the breathtaking views from the observation deck. After your ride, make sure to save time for a cold drink and a bite to eat at the Cloudspin Lounge located in the base lodge.

Image Grid: Musician performs at Mid's Park, couple relaxes on a picnic blanket, couple paddles on Mirror Lake

Mid's Park on Mirror Lake

Situated on Main Street between Eastern Mountain Sports and The Haus, Mid’s Park is a beautiful location to check out next time you are in town.

Option 1: Enjoy a picnic. With its central location near a variety of eateries, Mid's Park is a convenient spot to dine in the fresh mountain air with views overlooking Mirror Lake. 

Option 2: Dance to live music. Throughout the summer, Mid’s Park comes alive with music performances and Mirror Lake as the backdrop. Every Tuesday, enjoy live music with Songs at Mirror Lake, and on Wednesdays head back down for performances from the Lake Placid Sinfonietta.

Option 3: Paddle up! Mirror Lake’s motor-free waters provide a unique paddling opportunity, whether it’s to paddle up and listen to live music or to access the shops and restaurants on Main Street. 

Image Grid: John Brown Farm, Interpretive Sign, Milky Way Galaxy

John Brown Farm

On the southern edge of Lake Placid, John Brown Farm State Historic Site is the home and final resting place of abolitionist John Brown.

Option 1: Immerse yourself in history. A visit to John Brown Farm will provide a glimpse of life in the 19th century and shares fascinating information about the famed abolitionist and his mission to abolish slavery.

Also on display is a permanent exhibit, "Dreaming of Timbuctoo," which shares the story of Timbuctoo, a farming community created by local abolitionist Gerrit Smith for Black families to migrate to the Adirondacks and homestead. By providing land to Black men, the men were entitled to the right to vote, a crucial step in the fight against racism and slavery.

Option 2: Take a nature walk. At John Brown Farm you will find a trail system made of 3 interpretive trails that are open year-round and offer opportunities for hiking, birding, trail running, and relaxation. 

Option 3: Go stargazing. There is a reason we say that in the Adirondacks you will see more stars than in Hollywood. Our low level of light pollution and vast expanses of wilderness make the region an amazing stargazing destination. On a clear night, the field at John Brown Farm is one of the hot spots for stargazing.

Image Grid: Hiking, Biking, and Mountain Coaster and Mt. Van Hoevenberg

Mt. Van Hoevenberg 

Whiteface Mountain is not the only Olympic site to offer multiple experiences. Mt. Van Hoevenberg pulls out all the stops when looking to help you invent your own perfect day. 

Option 1: Kick off your outdoor adventure from the Hiking Center. The 4.7-mile round trip hike up the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail is one of the newest trails in the Adirondacks and is built to the highest standard of sustainability, truly leading the way for standards on trail building. But this amazing hike is not the only reason to check out the Mt. Van Hovenberg Hiking Center, you will also find trailheads for Sleeping Giant (More Difficult), the Nested Loop (More Difficult), Lover’s Lane (Easier), and Hi-Notch (Most Difficult) plus a variety of walking trails. 

Option 2: Explore on two wheels from the Biking Center. Explore the 30 kilometers of mountain biking that climb, dip, and twist which were built to cater to a variety of skills and abilities. So whether you are new to the sport of mountain biking, or a veteran rider, the Mountain Biking Center at Mt. Van Hoevenberg is ready to welcome you. Riders may bring their own bike, or rent one on location. 

Option 3: Get your adrenalin racing. If thrills are what you are after, Van Ho (as we call it locally) is ready to deliver. The top three activities at Van Ho for thrill-seekers are the Cliffside Coaster, the Bobsled Experience, and the new Climbing Center. Reservations for these activities are highly recommended. So visit Mt. Van Hoevenberg to plan your visit

Grid pictures of Ausable Chasm, tubing, rock climbing, falls viewing.

Ausable Chasm

Approximately 45 minutes northeast of Lake Placid, you will find the oldest natural attraction in the United States, Ausable Chasm. This destination is a must-visit when in the Adirondacks; the sandstone gorge and waterfalls offer a wide variety of unique opportunities to explore its natural beauty.

Option 1: By foot. Ausable Chasm boasts over 5 miles of hiking and walking trails that offer up some spectacular views of the gorge and waterfalls. 

Option 2: By rope. Want to bump it up a notch? Take the Adventure Trail, a thrilling and family-friendly course that gets you close to the Chasm with a series of cable bridges, a cargo net climb, edge walks, and more. In addition to the Adventure Trail, Ausable Chasm also offers rock climbing and rappelling tours. 

Option 3: By raft. Want to get even closer? Get right on the water with Raft and Tubing Float Tours. From this vantage point, you will be looking upward at the towering cliff walls and stunning rock formation of the Chasm.  

Image grid: Hiker shuttle, a woman paints the Marcy Field range, and an outdoor event.

Marcy Field

Located off of Route 73 between Keene and Keene Valley, Marcy Field is an 86-acre public space with breathtaking views of the Adirondack High Peaks. In fact, it is so beautiful that it is a popular wedding venue.

Option 1: Attend the Farmers’ Market. Every Sunday from May through Mid-October, Marcy Field buzzes with activity as it hosts the weekly Keene Farmers’ Market. This is one of the most sought-after spots for local vendors to get into and if you go just once you will learn why. Attendees will find a wide range of local produce, dairy products, meat, eggs, preserves, maple products, and baked goods. In addition, local crafters and artisans offer up unique local furniture, soaps, jewelry, and more. 

Option 2: Unwind in Nature's Embrace. Immerse yourself in the serene charm of Marcy Field, a captivating haven that beckons exploration and relaxation. Nestled beside the Ausable River and boasting expansive grounds, Marcy Field presents an idyllic setting for leisurely picnics, kite flying, or simply soaking in the splendor of the Adirondacks' natural beauty.

Option 3: Explore! Beyond its picturesque allure, Marcy Field serves as a launch pad for a variety of outdoor pursuits. Whether you're a hiker, a leisurely walker, a swimming enthusiast, an angler seeking tranquility, or a biking aficionado, Marcy Field offers immediate access to these activities, sparing you the need to journey farther afield.

Image grid of summer activities including hiking, paddling, music, and sightseeing.

Clearing up the facts

So, I may have lied. Well maybe it wasn't a lie, but more an omission of a detail. I began this post by explaining that you are invited to “invent your own perfect day” in Lake Placid and how exactly to go about doing that. What I failed to mention is that one day is simply not enough. So here are some parting tips before you start planning your perfect day in Lake Placid.

  • Extend your stay. With so many unique destinations and attractions in the area, where each offers up multiple many ways to explore them, it may be worth extending that stay a few days or even a week
  • Plan activities mid-week to avoid crowds. Some of the popular activities and excursions can get busy and even sell out on the weekend. Plan in advance, and consider visiting on a weekday. Trust me, it will help convert a great experience into perfection.
  • Leave the Adirondacks better than you found it. We are fortunate to be positioned in such a breathtaking natural playground with so many ways to explore the great outdoors. Before heading out, we simply ask that you review and practice your leave-no-trace principles so that others can enjoy our lands and waterways for generations to come. When you're done, be sure to take the #LoveYourADK Pledge and encourage others to do the same. 
  • Find more great tips! Download the official Lake Placid Travel Guide today and have direct access to more travel tips, tricks, and insider information.