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Secrets of Lake Placid

The Lake Placid I am going to tell you about has nothing to do with the giant, 30-foot-long man-eating crocodile that terrorizes people as depicted in the movies Lake Placid, Lake Placid 2, Lake Placid 3 or Lake Placid: The Final Chapter. This Lake Placid is a beautiful vacation village located in the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York.

Here are some secrets about Lake Placid that you need to know before heading there…

Lake Placid’s history began in the 1800’s when wealthy and influential Americans discovered the cool paradise and started building their Adirondack Great Camps. Some famous people who lived in Lake Placid include John Brown, abolitionist; Melvil Dewey, inventor of the Dewey Decimal Classification System for libraries; Kate Smith, singer; Eric Heiden, speed-skater, Lana Del Rey, singer; Andrew Weibrecht, skier; James Tolkan, actor.

In the 1800’s, Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau found that the fresh mountain air provided a perfect environment to cure tuberculosis.

The city of Lake Placid has been home to two winter Olympics – in 1932 and 1980. Lake Placid Ironman is the longest running triathlon in the US aside from Championship Kailua-Kona in Hawaii. Therefore, it remains to be a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Those who like to hike, bike, swim, hike, rock climb, kayak or camp love to practice their athletic skills in the Adirondack’s.

It is not very easy to get to Lake Placid. There are couple of small airports which may be quite costly to get into. It is connected by good country highways, so you can drive to Lake Placid from surrounding big cities of Burlington (3 hours), Montreal (2 hours), Toronto (5.5 hours), New York City (5 hours) or Boston (5 hours).

copyright Go Eat GiveWhen you reach the city of Lake Placid, you will see Mirror Lake, not Lake Placid lake. You can access the lake if you have a house on the lake or are staying at one of the hotels that offer access to their guests. There is also access from Whiteface, which is not easy to find. Otherwise, you can enjoy water sports, beach activities and lots of good shopping and dining overlooking Mirror Lake located right next door.

A large portion of Lake Placid’s North end is owned by New York State and is part of the Forever Wild wilderness classified land in the Adirondack Park. At the center of the North End is a beach area where you can pull up your boat and enjoy a picnic at the beach. The hotels can arrange lunch baskets as well as boat rentals.

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The best public place to enjoy the splendor of Lake Placid in a very private setting is at Lake Placid Lodge. Luxurious cabins and suits overlooking the lake range $550-2,200 per night, but visiting guests can make a reservation for a romantic dinner at Artisan’s restaurant. Sip champagne and watch a quiet sunset over the lake. The hotel also offers private boat tours on Lake Placid.

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In order to preserve the lake and the surrounding land for future generations, no new development is allowed around the lake. If you are to visit this area after ten years, chances are, it will look exactly the same. The Placid Lake Foundation oversees conservation easements and land acquisitions at Lake Placid. Also, the water at Lake Placid is the clearest recorded in the state of New York and safe for drinking.

The entire lake freezes in the winter and there are no roads going into many of the multi-million dollar homes. This means that the only access is by boat in the summer, and snowmobiles in the winter. So, if you plan to buy a home on Lake Placid, make sure you account for some heavy accessories in your budget.

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Sucheta Rawal

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to over 90 countries across 7 continents. She is also the founder and editor of 'Go Eat Give' and author of 'Beato Goes To' series of children's books on travel.

One thought on “Secrets of Lake Placid

  1. Replying to your twitter reply:
    – Lots of grammar issues throughout article (which make it difficult to read).
    – Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau is very closely tied to the Saranac Lake community and is rarely mentioned re: Lake Placid and its history. It is definitely a part of SL’s history. If you are trying to prove that the air is fresh up here, it was done in a very convoluted way that only people who live here would understand.
    – Ironman is not the reason Lake Placid remains a spot for outdoor enthusiasts, but more the reason Ironman continues to come back…because the community has an abundance of outdoor enthusiasts.
    – The information re: Lake Placid Lake is very confusing. You make it sound like the lake does not offer public access to its waters but then in the next paragraph you talk about public land on the northern part of the lake. Lake Placid Lake has 2 public boat launches. You can also hike to Whiteface Landing (the northern part of lake) through public access trails at Connery Pond. I’ve also been told some resorts on the lake will rent boats out to the public as well. A very popular activity for visitors is to walk around Mirror Lake (located in the center of town), and at one point in your walk,you are a stones throw away from Lake Placid Lake.

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