Continuing our upstate NY trip, we drove from the Finger Lakes to the Adirondacks. This region is huge with plenty of little towns to explore, but we decided to focus our last 4 days on Lake Placid and Lake George. By mid-October, the crowds are thinned to a minimum and there is plenty of peace and quiet in the woods.
The Brewster Peninsula Trail behind the Howard Johnsons takes you to a fine view of Lake Placid. Surprisingly, we found out the hard way that if you are not staying at a hotel or vacation home on Lake Placid, you will not have access to the lake. All roads around Lake Placid are private. This was one of the few places that let you get a glimpse. The other place we discovered that allows public access, although we didn’t have a legitimate reason for being there, was a boat docking area.
Mirror Lake, the smaller lake that sidles up against Main Street in the town of Lake Placid, is far more easily accessible and is quite stunning. We enjoyed watching this lake change color throughout the day. Aside from the outdoor spots right off of Main Street where you can view the lake, there are two hidden locations that provide amazing views, complete with comfortable seating. The library on Main Street has a sun room with rocking chairs and a large window framing the lake. This is a great perch for when it’s cold. The coffee shop in the mall on Main Street has an outdoor balcony with cafe seating. The view here is worth a panoramic shot (my photo-stitching skills are not quite there yet).
If there is only so much you can take of lakes, there is one excursion outside of Lake Placid that I highly recommend called High Falls Gorge. The treetop walkways and bridges give you a view of the Ausible River churning angrily below. The place has a feel of a mining operation (it actually does have a “mining for gems” feature for kids).
After a couple of days, we continued on our way to Lake George, about a 2-hour drive south. We stopped off at a taxidermy shop in between. Taxidermy seems to epitomize the Adirondacks for me.
Lake George has a different feel to it than Lake Placid. It is much more casual and we felt the off-season atmosphere more clearly here. We only spent one full day here and got busy seeing what there was to see. Here is a view of the lake and surrounding area from the top of Prospect Mountain. There is a fee to drive up this mountain.
The lake is also quite beautiful from the ground.
I can imagine the Adirondacks being beautiful in the winter with snow on the ground and in the treetops. There is plenty to do in the winter, especially in the Lake Placid area. I don’t believe the lake is full of activity in the winter, but there is skiing and snowshoeing in the nearby mountains and woods. For a place to stay, I recommend the Winterberry Bed and Breakfast right outside the center of town. Our room was inexpensive and breakfast was delicious. For Lake George, we stayed at the Inn at Erlowest, a grand old mansion right on the lake. If you want luxury in a rustic setting, this is it! The drive from Lake George to NYC is about 3 hours. If you are planning a trip just to Lake Placid, the drive will be 5 hours.