Lake Placid, nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, is a destination with much to offer. However, if you’re a seasonal inhabitant or looking for something to do when you are visiting, you might crave a change of scenery. Luckily, the region surrounding Lake Placid offers great options for day trips with interesting attractions that can be visited all year round. Since we are very familiar with the area at Adirondack Premiere Properties, we’ve taken our collective experiences and divided these excursions into those best suited for the snowy winter months and those to enjoy during the warm summer and vibrant fall seasons.
Whiteface Mountain: Just a 20-minute drive from Lake Placid, Whiteface Mountain is renowned for its winter sports, and probably the most well known “thing to do” near Lake Placid. Boasting the highest vertical drop in the East, it’s a paradise for skiers and snowboarders. Don’t miss the gondola ride up Little Whiteface for stunning winter vistas.
Lake George: About an hour and a half away, Lake George turns into a winter wonderland. Enjoy ice fishing, snowshoeing, or simply admire the stunning frozen lake. The town also offers cozy dining spots to warm up.
Gore Mountain: At just over an hour’s drive, Gore Mountain offers some of the best downhill skiing and snowboarding in the state. With over 100 trails, it’s ideal for both novices and experts.
High Falls Gorge: Just under a half-hour drive, this natural attraction offers breathtaking views of frozen waterfalls in winter. Well-maintained paths and bridges make it easily accessible.
Ticonderoga: Just shy of a two-hour drive, visit Fort Ticonderoga, a large 18th-century star fort. Though the fort itself is closed in winter, the grounds remain open for winter hiking, offering stunning views of Lake Champlain.
Summer and Fall Day Trips Or Overnight/Camping Adventures
Saranac Lake: A mere 20 minutes from Lake Placid, Saranac Lake offers a wealth of summer activities. Paddle in the sparkling lake, hike the nearby mountains, or explore the charming downtown.
Ausable Chasm: Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks,” this sandstone gorge is an hour’s drive away. It offers walking trails, rafting, and tubing in the summer. In fall, the colorful foliage adds to the beauty. Make sure you keep an eye out for the elephant in the rocks!
Burlington, VT: Though a little further afield, Burlington is worth the two-hour journey. Take a ferry across Lake Champlain to this vibrant city, known for its food scene, arts, and beautiful waterfront. Don’t miss the Church Street Marketplace.
The Wild Center: About an hour away in Tupper Lake, NY, this natural history center features immersive exhibits, a stunning elevated walkway among the trees, and live animal displays. It’s a hit with all age groups.
Adirondack Experience: Just under two hours and situated on Blue Mountain Lake, NY, this museum offers a deep dive into the history, culture, and art of the Adirondack region. The surrounding scenery, particularly the fall colors, is breathtaking.
This list is a great starting point based on the ADKPP team’s experiences, but remember, the beauty of the Adirondacks lies in its countless natural wonders waiting to be discovered.