Lake Placid is located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate, New York. The main village of Lake Placid sits right along beautiful Mirror Lake, which is a much smaller lake than Lake Placid itself but offers lots of fun year-round. Lake Placid is a popular place to visit in the summer for families because there are so many awesome things to do in the area. It is also a perfect place to stay if you are hiking in the Adirondacks.
The Wild Center, Tupper Lake
Tupper Lake is located just over 30 minutes from Lake Placid and is full of more fun outdoor things to do. The Wild Center is located here and is the perfect place to spend a day learning all about the Adirondacks. There are both opportunities to explore inside and outside, and neither are to be missed. Indoors there are some great exhibits to learn all about the wildlife and the living forest of the Adirondacks. There are lots of hands-on exhibits that are always a hit with the kids and my kids had a blast in the art room learning how to draw animals native to the Adirondacks. (Please note as of July 2020 the indoor exhibits are closed).
While we had a good time exploring inside, however, it was outside where my kids had the most fun! The “Wild Walk” allows you to climb and explore in the treetops – such a perfect place to let the kids run free and climb around on the different levels. The Wild Walk is full of suspension bridges, ropes to climb on, nests to play in, and trees to walk through. There are also some hiking trails at the Wild Center and some chances to see some wildlife.
Hiking in Lake Placid
The Adirondacks are home to some of the best hiking in the country, and Lake Placid is surrounded by some incredible mountains to climb. Whether you are a beginner hiker like us, or an avid hiker looking for a challenge there are plenty of options for all hiking abilities. We have some favorite hikes in Lake Placid that are perfect for families: Hiking in Lake Placid with Kids. These Adirondack mountain hikes are all to a summit of a mountain, they all offer some amazing views as a reward and are a great way to spend a morning when you are visiting Lake Placid.
Swimming and Boating
Lake Placid is a wonderful lake to spend a day out on a boat and if you don’t have your own boat, there are some options for boat rentals in the area. If you want to spend the day out on Mirror Lake you can also rent kayaks or paddleboards from several different places. There are no motorboats allowed on Mirror Lake which makes it a great place to kayak and paddleboard since the water is so clean and calm.
The best public place to swim in Lake Placid is at the Lake Placid Public Beach. The beach is super clean, has lifeguards, and restrooms to use. Best of all the location can not be beaten since it is easy to get to and within walking distance to great restaurants.
But even better than swimming at the public beach and renting boats is staying at The Golden Arrow. When you stay at this resort, located directly on Mirror Lake, you have access to a private beach for hotel guests only, as well as complimentary kayak and paddleboards. Read more about why The Golden Arrow is the best place to stay for families in Lake Placid.
The Olympic Center in Lake Placid offers a variety of activities for families. There is a ton of history where you can learn all about the Olympics that were held in Lake Placid years ago. But in addition, you can also experience some of those winter sports too such as riding in a bobsled! There is also a zip line and will soon be a mountain coaster. Stay tuned for updates here when we explore more of the Olympic sites and activities in the future!
High Falls Gorge
The High Falls Gorge in Lake Placid is only a 10-minute drive from the village and is definitely not to be missed. This nature park offers an opportunity to walk along the edge of the High Falls Gorge and see the water rushing below you. There are groomed trails and bridges leading you down one side of the river crossing over and back up the other side. The up-close experience of this ancient gorge is breathtaking and is quite intense when you are walking alongside the cliff. But this is a safe family-friendly attraction in Lake Placid and it’s not every day you get to experience something like this! There is also a cafe during the summer, and additional hiking trails to explore on the property.
Whiteface Mountain is New York’s 5th tallest mountain and can easily be seen from all over Lake Placid and even much further. This mountain is very popular for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months, and in the summer is a popular mountain to hike up (a more difficult hike than mentioned earlier). However, you can also drive to the top of Whiteface Mountain during the summer months and take in some insane 360-degree views. The Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway takes you up over 2000 feet in 5 miles from the toll road. At the summit, you will find a castle built from stone, a restaurant, and a gift shop. In addition, to get to the true summit there is an elevator you can take up to the very top. This is a total must-do when you are visiting Lake Placid!
Ausable Chasm is similar to the High Falls Gorge as mentioned earlier in this post, but bigger and better. You still get to walk on some fun cliff side bridges and suspension bridges high over rushing water, but we thought this gorge was much larger and more dramatic. Not only do you get to walk along the chasm but you even have the chance to get in a tube or in a float and ride in the water through the chasm. Read more here all about Visiting Ausable Chasm.
Where to Stay
Hands down the best place to stay in Lake Placid with kids is The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort. This place has it all covered, from rooms perfect for families to a private beach, complimentary watercraft, and it is in the best location in Lake Placid. You can walk to all the best restaurants after a long day of swimming and playing in Mirror Lake. Read more about why The Golden Arrow is the best resort in Lake Placid and book your stay now!
Where to Eat
A few of our favorite restaurants in Lake Placid include:
If you are looking for a great family-friendly Upstate New York destination – Lake Placid truly has it all! The Adirondacks are a wonderful place to explore in all seasons and the summer is perfect for maximum outdoor fun. Lake Placid with kids is surely going to be a family trip you will never forget!