In February I spent an unseasonably warm weekend with my boyfriend in one of my most favorite places inside the Adirondacks - Lake Placid.
We spent our weekend in a suite at the Best Western of Lake Placid which was nestled right on the actual Lake Placid (not to be confused with Mirror Lake which the shopping district traces the coast of. The goal of the weekend was to simply relax, enjoy eachother's company and to take advantage of a "buy one night - get one free" coupon that I had gotten a few months ago at a Adirondack Sports and Fitness show.
The weekend was filled with good food, good shopping and good adventure.
The highlight of the weekend was taking advantage of the Olympic Sites Passport. If you don't already know - Lake Placid was host to the winter Olympic Games twice, once in 1932 and again in 1980. Although I've visited Lake Placid multiple times for shopping, hiking and general amusement I haven't actually visited any of the Olympic venues. I decided this was the chance to do so.
The passport only set us back $30 each and granted us free and discounted entrance to most of the Olympic Venues.
We arrived Friday and visited the Olympic Museum which is inside the Olympic arena where the "Miracle on Ice" occurred. Normally $6/person to enter it was small but packed with all kinds of memorabilia, videos, sports gear and information on the games in Lake Placid, past games and sporting events within the games. The streets were busy and so was the arena as there was a big college hockey championship going on as well as the Youth Can/Am games. We were basically the only people in Lake Placid that weekend with no interest in watching hockey!
Saturday and Sunday had some of the most amazing weather for the month of February. NY was blessed with an extremely mild winter - we got little to no snow back home and Lake Placid didn't have much to boast about either. The High Peaks were covered and skiing was still passable on Whiteface (although it was the last weekend and people were literally skiing on patches of snow about 2 feet wide) but this was a winter for the record books. I believe the temperatures ranged in the 70s and maybe even 80's that weekend. A perfect weekend for outdoor siteseeing!
We started with the ski lifts, which if you've read any of my hiking entries, chances are you've seen them from a distance when I post pictures of the summits of various High Peaks. This was the first time I got to see them up close and personal. I'm not sure of the normal cost per person to enter the ski lifts and to take the elevator to the top - but it was included in our passport and the blue skies made for perfect views of Lake Placid and the surrounding High Peaks.
Next on the agenda was going to the sports complex to tour the bobsled/skeleton grounds. While at the sports complex, visitors have the opportunity the actually ride in a bobsled on the track. It is costly at $80/person, but with the passport you could get a 20% discount. Bobsledding is one of my favorite winter sports and riding the bobsled track is something I've always wanted to do so I dropped the $60 and went for a ride. Yes, it was less than a minute, yes it was expensive - but boy was it worth it. The bragging rights alone are worth it - I rode on an Olympic bobsled track and lived to tell the tale. For my efforts I was given a shirt, pin and "team picture". My boyfriend wasn't so quick to to take the ride so I did it alone.
After paying your fee - you're taken to the top of the track Chevy Suburban style. You're fitted for a helmet and then you're placed into your bobsled with two team mates (who ride all day with visitors) and anyone else in your party. In this case another person who was going solo was with me. Before you know it you're wisked down the shoot - you stop and you're pulled off to the side for your picture and pin. It was short and sweet and I'd do it again.
Click here to see the video.
To finish up our day of Olympic sight seeing we headed over to Whiteface Mountain to ride the ski lift. If I remember correctly it was the last skiing weekend of a pretty terrible ski season so the mountain was pretty packed with people getting their last chance to go down the mountain on a combination of slush and mud. It was a really enjoyable gondola ride, and is normally $19/person but was included in our passport. I'm not sure if it was something I'd necessarily pay $19 for - but it was a nice relaxing ride and it took about 5 minutes (give or take) to get to the lookout (not necessarily the summit of the mountain).
I will say that Whiteface is on my list of High Peaks to hike this summer and riding up the gondola to only get to a lookout and seeing the summit so far away made me question my sanity in wanting to make that hike!
Visiting the Olympic sites was really enjoyable for me, especially as someone who is kind of an Olympic fanatic. I can't believe of all the times that I've visited Lake Placid I hadn't actually gone to any of the sites - I can't think of a better weekend to have done it. The passport was well worth the $30 and provided a full day of entertainment.
On a personal note: I realize that I haven't posted in over 6 months - eep! How time flies. I have many Adirondack adventures to share with everyone and have many more coming up. I am still hoping to focus this blog more on my Adirondack Adventures (and even those outside of the park), but I'll still continue to post on a personal level as well. I'm looking forward to sharing more about this weekend and other past adventures with you! Happy trails!