Winter …  we all think of fluffy, white snow hanging from evergreen branches and blanketing the ground, but that's not the whole story. Sometimes, Mother Nature provides ice, and that offers slightly different and amazing opportunities to play. Break winter's chill and explore 7 ways you can play on the ice in Lake Placid this winter. 

1. Ice skating on Mirror Lake 

Once the ice becomes at least a foot thick, Mirror Lake transforms into an ice haven. The North Elba Park District maintains a 2-mile-long ice track, where skaters can enjoy expansive views of the mountains. They also clear out a place for pond hockey near the town beach, providing yet another opportunity to lace up some skates. If you don't have your own pair, you can get skate rentals at Locker Room 5, which sits right on Main Street in close proximity to the lake. The track is open and free to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

two girls skating on the the ice track on Mirror Lake

2. Toboggan chute

The Toboggan Chute is a classic Lake Placid activity that has been in operation since the 1960s. The thrill of sliding down an ice-covered chute from a 30-foot-high structure onto frozen Mirror Lake is often a highlight of many family winter vacations. During ideal weather conditions, toboggans can glide more than 1,000 feet once they reach the frozen lake surface. Since a frozen lake surface is essential, the official opening day varies from year to year. Contact the Lake Placid Visitor Center for more information at (518) 523-2445

two girls on a toboggan slide down a 30 foot chute

3. Dog sledding 

To add to the buzz of excitement on Mirror Lake, you can find mushers and their team of dogs gliding across the frozen lake. There are two dog sled teams operating on Mirror Lake: one at 1 Main St. Park, (on the ice behind Players Sports Bar & Grill), and the second team is located on the ice behind the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort. You won’t believe how fast the dogs can pull you across the wintry landscape, so don't miss out on this rare opportunity. Rides are $20 and operate on a first-come, first-served basis so no reservations are necessary. 

a musher and his dog sled team on the lake

4. Ice skating on the Olympic Oval

The Speed Skating Oval is one of the few outdoor rinks of its kind left in the country and it sits a stone's throw away from the Olympic Center. What's better is the facility just underwent a major revitalization, including updates to the refrigeration system, which will enable a longer and more consistent skating season. Check out the schedule and get ready to skate some laps under the open sky. It's a real treat! 

two friends lacing up skates to play outside.

5. Bobsledding at Mt. Van Hoevenberg

There are only two places in the U.S. where you can test out a bobsled; Lake Placid, NY, and Park City, Utah. At Mt. Van Hoevenberg, the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience offers you the opportunity to zoom around banked turns on a half-mile track at 55 mph. Don't miss the chance to experience this exhilarating ride. Reservations are recommended. 

6. Ice climbing 

Winter transforms rock climbing walls into stunning ice falls that are every shade of blue and green. To get vertical, all you have to do is swing your spikey ice tools, kick your crampons into the ice, and inch your way up the frozen ladder.  If you are ready to push your boundaries and try something wildly different, book a lesson with a licensed Adirondack guide. Lake Placid has ice climbing options for beginners, experts, and everyone in between. 

ice climbing.

7. Ice Palace in Saranac Lake

In Saranac Lake, a village just fifteen minutes west of Lake Placid, a spectacular winter festival takes place every February. This year, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival takes place from February 3 - 12 and is jam-packed with events and music. If you miss the carnival, the ice palace stays up as long as the weather continues to keep it up, so you can still visit it. While the ice palace is technically not in Lake Placid, it deserves a spot on this list as an important winter tradition in the Adirondacks since 1897. 

people walking around the ice castle

After your icy adventures, warm up with a great meal with a view of the lake. Lake Placid is the perfect place to visit for your winter getaway. Come stay awhile and experience everything Lake Placid has to offer.