Famous for Olympic history and skiing at Lake Placid, the Adirondacks are a wonderland in every season. You'll find family-friendly hospitality and fun adventures amid sky-high mountains, deep forests and jewel-toned lakes. Scenic drives, chairlift and gondola rides, river cruises, and trails that range from gentle to challenging, provide awesome views and access to spectacular landmarks.
Choose activities that fit your preference and schedule. You could spend a few hours or an entire day at each one. And, you'll find an amazing range of lodging choices, whether it‘s under the stars at an island campground, in a Great Camp cabin, or at a four-star family resort. With great locations for hiking, biking, fishing, golfing and camping; breathtaking views in leaf-peeping season; and several top-rated winter sports destinations, the Adirondacks are spectacular, all year long!
DAY ONE: Lake George and Pottersville
Start the day on the eastern side of Lake George with an easy, family-and-dog-friendly hike. There's ample parking at two trailheads: atop Shelving Rock Mountain, you'll have a beautiful view of the lake, and you'll pass the lovely Shelving Rock Falls twice along the way. In Pottersville at Natural Stone Bridge and Caves, take a self-guided tour of the East's largest marble cave entrance and hike along a series of natural stone steps. History buffs will appreciate the sawmill (erected for Revolutionary War service) and in summer, adventurous types can explore the underground caves and even take a cave float. Winter visitors will be delighted with the property's ten miles of snowshoe trails. After Special Saturday Evening Moonlight Tours, get cozy at the Lodge's campfire with marshmallows and hot drinks.
Settle in for a spell at Gore Mountain Ski Resort in North Creek where, in addition to winter sports, you can enjoy year-round hiking (both self-guided and excursions with a knowledgeable guide), gondola rides, mountain biking trails, and have some family fun playing Disc Golf! Summer visitors with an eye for gems will enjoy touring Gore Mountain Garnet Mine to find gemstones and learn about the history and geology of one of the world's largest garnet deposits. (Now you know why the Garnet is New York State's Gemstone!)
DAY TWO: Indian Lake and Lake Placid
Looking for an exhilarating whitewater rafting adventure from mid-April through mid-October? Adventure Sports Rafting in Indian Lake offers one of America's Top 10 Springtime Rafting Adventures (Outside Magazine). Experience the mighty rush of the Hudson River's Class III-V rapids on a trip with certified guides, top-notch equipment, a professional photographer and even homemade lunches prepared for special dietary needs.
When there's a nip in the air, sip some hot chocolate on your Lake Placid Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride through Olympic Village. By day, you'll have a beautiful view of the High Peaks and Sentinel Mountain ranges and the famous Ski Jumps; at night, snuggle under a blanket and gaze up at the stars along the romantic, lantern-lit trails. Lake Placid has all-season fun for everyone, from the short loop hiking trail at Mount Jo (minimal effort for some stellar High Peaks views) to the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience (May-October), where you can experience the high-speed thrill of racing (with a professional driver and brakeman, of course!) at the site of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. Summer visitors can get their chills watching athletes and ski jumpers train and compete at the Olympic Jumping Complex, where freestylers defy the laws of gravity to practice their amazing twists and turns above a 750,000-gallon pool.
The entire Lake Placid area is bustling with Olympic fun: you can watch and learn (don't miss visiting the Winter Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame) or get into the action (take a few laps on the Olympic Speed Skating Oval). The Lake Placid Center for the Arts presents year-round dance, music and theater performances; films; arts exhibitions; and is the summer home for Lake Placid Sinfonietta. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the Craig Wood Golf Course or, for putt-putt family fun, Eurobungy and more, visit Boots and Birdies.
DAY THREE: Ogdensburg, Tupper Lake, Blue Mountain Lake and Saranac Lake
Looking for things to do in the great Adirondack indoors? The displays at the Frederic Remington Art Museum are unmatched. From the cigars in Remington's pocket before he died to his furniture, elk's tooth cufflinks, hockey stick - plus sketchbooks, easel, paintbrushes, working tools, and sculpting stand - there's plenty to fascinate. Remington's famous works immortalizing the soldiers, cowboys, ranchers and Native Americans of the late 1880s are housed here.
The Wild Center in Tupper Lake sits on 31 acres, with live exhibits, multi-media shows, and much more. Five primary indoor exhibit areas feature halls with live animals (from rare native trout to hawks and not often seen residents of the woods and waters). High-definition films in a wide-screen theater convey new research findings about moose, loons and other inhabitants in exciting detail. Outdoors, the award-winning Center offers canoe trips, guided trail walks (offered daily, with snow shoes provided in winter) and exhibits in the ecosystems where creatures live.
From there, drive south to visit the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake or travel east to Saranac Lake, or do both! At the museum, 22 modern exhibition galleries and historic buildings are dedicated to regional history and the wilderness. In Saranac Lake, go camping on Saranac Lake Island, stroll the downtown streets, view works by local artisans, or attend a performance at the only year-round theater in the Adirondack Park, Pendragon Theater. Saranac Lake is also home to several festivals, making it an interesting place to visit all year long.
Adirondack Fall Foliage Guide
Adventure Sports Rafting
Boots and Birdies - Lake Placid
Craig Wood Golf Course - Lake Placid
Frederic Remington Art Museum - Ogdensburg
Gore Mountain Garnet Mine - North River
Gore Mountain Ski Resort - North Creek
Lake Placid Bobsled Experience
Lake Placid Center for the Arts
Lake Placid Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides
Mount Jo - Lake Placid
Natural Stone Bridge and Caves - Pottersville
Pendragon Theater - Saranac Lake
Saranac Lake - things to do
Shelving Rock Falls - Lake George
The Wild Center
Whiteface Lake Placid
Winter Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame - Lake Placid