On your way to Lake Placid? Look out the window!

There’s no road trip quite like one through the Adirondacks. Where winding roads hug scenic vistas, flowing rivers, and friendly ski mountains, passengers always have somewhere to look! If you hadn’t noticed, fall is back again in the Adirondacks, and we couldn’t be happier. We’re greeted again by crisp chilly mornings, yummy harvests that come in the form of apple pies, and beautiful fiery colors that decorate the already beautiful Adirondack region. There’s plenty to see and do all around the Adirondacks this season, but how about we start with a road trip? We know all the best ways to soak up the colors this fall, and you’ll be glad you made the journey, promise!

A road cuts through mountains with fall foliage.

From Keene

Heading northwest from the town of Keene to Lake Placid, you’re in for an adventure, at least from the car window. Keene is brimming with towering mountains and gentle rivers winding through it. Of the 46 High Peaks, 15 of them live in Keene! Many of Keene’s mountains have rocky tops that jut into the sky, but don’t let their aggressive looks fool you. Several of Keene’s hiking trails offer gentle climbs. On your route to Lake Placid you’ll come across Owl’s Head Lookout, a fantastic hike that offers wide open views of mountains blanketed in foliage. Moving on closer to town, you’ll pass Cascade Mountain, a hulking 4,098 feet, and the most accessible of the High Peaks, for any of you looking to get your 46er patch. 

A valley of foliage with a road cutting through it.

From Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake 

The route from Tupper Lake to Lake Placid will have travelers heading northeast, on a road surrounded by lush marshland, rows of evergreen trees, and smaller peaks. Distant views of High Peaks can be seen at times on this route as well, weather permitting. Halfway through the trip, you’ll pass through the town of Saranac Lake. Its adorable Main Street will have you stopping for a quick shopping spree, or maybe take a sub from Lakeview Deli and enjoy the views from Riverside Park. The park comes complete with friendly teddy bears (you’ll find out when you get there) and a prime spot on the waterfront of Lake Flower, surrounded by the foliage that hugs this lake town. 

Downtown Tupper Lake with mountains in the back covered in fall reds and yellows.

A savory reward

A fall road trip wouldn’t be complete without some grub at the end, right? To keep the autumn vibes going, park at Lisa G’s. Lisa G’s restaurant is as cozy as they come, with a patio covered in string lights, nestled on a river with its own falls! If it gets too chilly on the patio, head inside for your own cozy booth or a seat at the bar. Try menu favorites like their expansive wing selection, the pulled chicken sandwich, or any of the thin crust pizzas fired in the oven.

A woman laughs with food on a patio.

Dancing Bears Restaurant is another must-dine option for your Lake Placid trip. Located at the top of Main Street, this restaurant boasts high ceilings with tall windows, showcasing scenes of shoppers, the lake, and pops of color to boot. Settle in for a craft beer, and check out the menu, decked out in American-pub flare. Share the Chef’s Board, the chef’s selection of seasonal local meats, cheeses, dried fruit, nuts, baguette, and toppings, making for the perfect fall charcuterie. For dinner, try the Sweet & Smoky NY Strip, or break out of your comfort zone with some Black Linguine. 

A waitress takes an order in front of a wall of windows.

Best places for a quick photo op 

If we were to name every spot for prime photos in the Adirondacks, we’d be here all day. Luckily, we were able to narrow it down to just a few stellar locations, worth all the driving. South Meadow is an open field with thick tall grass, a river, and several evergreen trees poking out of the ground, perfect for a misty and wild fall shot. To get there, Follow Route 73 out of Lake Placid toward Keene for 3.2 miles to Adirondack Loj Road on the right (first right after the ski jumps). Follow this road for just under 4 miles to South Meadow Road on the left. Mirror Lake makes for the perfect pic, with the wide open lake surrounded by foliage, mountains, and of course, Main Street Lake Placid. Finally, Chapel Pond is a must-visit in fall. To get there, go south on Route 73 from Lake Placid, pass through Keene Valley, and look for the Chapel Pond parking area on the right, 200 feet off of Route 73. As the rock-slab side of a mountain descends into water, the foliage in the cracks of rock and surrounding the pond flash in bright colors, making for a dazzling sight. 

A woman takes a picture in a fire tower.

Pack the car

Now that you’ve jotted down all the noteworthy routes, pitstops, and photo ops, get in the car and head to Lake Placid! Fall is also the perfect time to get in some scenic hiking and paddling, where you can catch unique views from atop the mountains or on the water! If you’re not sure just how foliage-filled the Adirondacks are right now, check in with the foliage report for each region, updated weekly by ROOST Regional Managers. Check in with the report, and see for yourself just how much autumnal fun the Adirondacks have been having. See you soon.