Meet your new favorite trail

The first summer I lived in the Adirondacks, my husband and I took the short but sweet scenic train ride between Lake Placid and neighboring Saranac Lake. It was a pretty ride on vintage cars and the scenery between the two towns was amazing. I love old trains, but even this couldn't beat the lovely scenery. For many years, the only way to see that area was by train, or walking the tracks (please don't ever do that, it's illegal and dangerous), but now, after a multi-year project and lots of local love and work, the Adirondack Rail Trail between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid is a reality! This trail, which extends beyond Saranac Lake and will eventually end over in Tupper, offers an outstanding opportunity to enjoy Adirondack scenery that's easy to get to.

If you're wondering what all the fuss is about, this is a flat multi-use trail perfect for all ages, mobilities, and accessibility needs. You can jog it while taking in mountain views, rollerblade it with your friends on a sunny day, or walk, bicycle, push a stroller, or a pull a wagon. The crushed gravel is easy on feet and wheels, and there is also a paved section in between the two towns.

In winter, the trail is shared by those on Nordic skis and snowshoes, as well as snowmobilers. The Adirondack Rail Trail is also amazing for looking for wildlife, from songbirds to deer and even the occasional friendly reptile! Instead of explaining why the trail is cool, though, we brought in a little extra help to share what makes it so special and fun.

A paved path stretches through Adirondack wetland.

Connected communities

"No matter how you use the corridor - work, play or otherwise – it’s a connection to something. Shops and restaurants are a little closer. Neighborhoods somehow more linked. The communities of Lake Placid, Ray Brook, Saranac Lake, Lake Clear, and Tupper Lake more connected. Point A to Point B is easier, more accessible, and way more fun."

- Doug Haney, founder of Bike Adirondacks

Two adults cycle on a path surrounded by forest.

Enjoyable exercise

"I use the rail trail every week to bike to the gym in Lake Placid, which lets me do my cardio outside before I get there. It also allows me to bike at night without worrying about cars. Additionally, I have used the rail trail to get to the Town of Harrietstown Bike Park, Fowler's Crossing, and Haystack Trailhead. The rail trail has opened up so many route combinations. And I love seeing everybody walking their dogs on the Rail Trail!"

- Sydney

A woman walks her dog on the Adirondack Rail Trail.

Family adventures

"Myself and a group of my friends are psyched about the Adirondack Rail Trail! It has been a great addition to our regular recreation, and is perfect for getting out with the kiddos! We all purchased bike trailers for the littles, and are looking forward to biking from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid for lunch at our favorite spot: Lisa G's!"

- Kenzie

A woman on rollerblades guides a small child on a training bicycle.

Dogs love it!

"The Adirondack Rail Trail has become my favorite way to unwind. It's like this hidden gem snuck right into town, offering a peaceful escape just minutes from my doorstep. The paved section here feels brand new, and it's wide enough for Cedar, my energetic beagle, to trot comfortably beside me as we explore. He loves sniffing out the new sights and sounds with his nose glued to the ground, and the gentle grade makes it perfect for a leisurely afternoon ramble."

- Glenn

A beagle eagerly looks out over an Adirondack wetland on a sunny day.

Accessible wilderness

"It's my new favorite spot to go birding! We've seen several types of warblers, swamp sparrows, and pine siskins. We heard a belted kingfisher has been spotted and we'd love to see it too. It's also fun to watch for wildlife, since you never know what might cross your path."

- Mary

A man watches as his toddler studies an earth worm on a paved path.

Getting there

The Lake Placid trailhead for the Rail Trail is located on Station Street, near the wonderful museum run by the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society. Located inside the historic railroad depot, the museum is full of exhibits on local history, famous faces, and shares many of the stories that have made Lake Placid what it is today.

Need gear? Don't worry! The Rail Trail is great for simply walking. If you don't want to worry about bringing your own bike, you will find great bike rentals at Bike Lake Placid. This newly-opened shop is run by locals who really love the outdoors and have a lot of knowledge about where to go and what to do! Best of all, Bike Lake Placid is located near the Rail Trail!

The porch of a bike shop. The sign reads "Bike Lake Placid" over a bright blue cruiser bike.

Whether you walk, ride, or blade, enjoy with friends and family or solo, enjoy the Adirondack Rail Trail and send us your pics! Tag us @lakeplacidadk on Instagram!