It’s Monday, which means it’s time for a Top 5, and this week I’m going to focus on another spectacular destination to check out this winter. So without further ado, the Top 5 reasons to head to Lake Placid, NY.
1. It’s a Natural Wonderland!
Ever since leisure time began to increase in the early 1900’s, the rich and famous of the North East US escaped to upstate New York to enjoy the natural beauty of the Adirondack Mountains and the thousands of brooks, streams and lakes in the region. In fact, the term “vacation” is said to have originated in Lake Placid as wealthy New Yorkers “vacated” the city. Within the largest park on the continental USA, with 6.1 million acres of densely forested mountains, it’s the perfect place for an outdoor adventure with plenty of fishing and hunting, hiking on the Appalachian Trail, skiing, camping, golfing and boating. If you like doing anything outside there is something for everyone no matter what time of year you go. There really aren’t many places in the world that are this beautiful and haven’t been over developed, but luckily the splendour of the natural beauty has been preserved as a State Park and visitors can enjoy the natural vistas as they’ve been enjoyed for over a century.
2. Hockey Tournaments
This may come off as a little self-serving given my job, but Lake Placid truly is a one of a kind destination for hockey tournaments; it’s almost as if it was built for tournaments. It’s a very small and safe community with a main street that runs along picturesque Mirror Lake. Within this tiny town there are 31 hotels ranging high end accommodations at the Crowne Plaza Resort to tighter budget lodgings at the Alpine Motor Inn. Most of the mid range hotels are excellent and located right in the village, walking distance from restaurants, stores, gift shops and the arena. The piece-de-resistance that makes hockey tournaments so memorable is the fantastic Olympic Center right in the middle of town with a 3-rink arena including the Herb Brooks Memorial Arena where the Miracle on Ice took place. Combine all of these factors together and you’ve got a recipe for an amazing hockey tournament experience that’s sure to be the highlight of any teams season. Canadian Hockey Enterprises offers 8 weekend tournament events for kids and 2 for adults to take advantage of this one of a kind tournament destination. Check out this video to get an idea of what it’s like.
3. The Olympic History
Lake Placid is probably best known for being the host of two different Winter Olympics; the first in 1932 and more recently in 1980. It’s known for all of it’s natural features, but there are plenty of Olympic venues that you can visit or even experience including the Olympic Oval speed skating track, bob sled/luge run, ski jumping complex downhill ski track at Whiteface Mountain, Nordic ski track, Olympic Arena with the Olympic Museum inside. And because these facilities still exist, chances are you’ll be able to check out some kind of competition while you’re in town whether it’s the Nascar Charity Bobsled Race, the World Cup Skiing, or a NCAA Division 1 hockey game between Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University.
4. World Class Skiing/Snowboarding
Located in the heart of the Adirondack’s High Peaks, there are a good half dozen world class ski resorts within 45 minutes of the village of Lake Placid, the most notorious of which is Whiteface Mountain. With the greatest vertical drop east of the Rocky Mountains, Whiteface has 86 trails and over 22 miles of terrain for you to hone your skills and enjoy the scenic views. As you head up to the top of the mountain you’ll pass notes on the lift poles letting you know you’re now at a higher altitude than Killington, Stowe, Tremblant and all of the other renowned ski resorts of the east. The region also tends to get really big dumps of snow as fronts move in from either direction and get trapped by the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, making it the best powder skiing destination of the east as well.
5. Unique Architecture
Lake Placid is the original cottage country (though they call them ‘camps’) for wealthy New Yorkers and as a result there is an amazingly unique architecture throughout the region, mainly focused on creating a natural look. One of the features that stands out amongst Adirondack Style is the hand crafted look of the entire dwelling, with log steps, foundations and fireplaces made of river rock and railings made of twigs. You may even run across a home that’s exterior is entirely covered in birch bark, which doesn’t actually look that nice (sort of like it’s rotting) but is definitely unique. It was in Lake Placid that the Adirondack Chair was invented, though it seems every cottage region since has tried to coin the chair as their own. I’m looking at you Muskoka.
So do yourself a favour and jump in the car, break out your map and head down to Lake Placid next time you’re looking to relax, you won’t be disappointed.
Canadian Hockey Enterprises