The Adirondack Park (ADKs) consists of 6 million acres of protected forever wild forest located in New York north country. The ADKs are a frequent summer location for many New Yorkers with no exception to myself. There are more than 2,000 miles of trails, 700 lakes, ponds and rivers and great towns such as Lake Placid, a two-time host to the Winter Olympic Games. There are many rentals, hotels, campgrounds and backcountry campsites available to experience the best of the Adirondack Park; personally, I prefer to be under a canopy of pine trees, exhausted from days worth of exploration. Each section of this page will include a different aspect of what the ADKs have to offer! It will be updated rather frequently with my current location being about an hour out from the park’s border. I look forward to sharing my passion with you!
Aside from working toward my ADK 46, I do enjoy the Adirondack Park for other leisurely activities such as snowshoeing, mountain biking, and simple weekend ‘staycations’ as one would call them. There are so many charming, spectacular towns just waiting to be explored and a multitude of activities for the whole family to enjoy all throughout the year.
Lake Placid is a must visit village for a number of amazing reasons. Not only is it an immensely scenic small mountain town but it also holds a lot of history. Beautiful and bustling throughout every season, Lake Placid is the hub of Adirondack adventure and full of many great dining accommodations and shopping locations.
Also known as the Olympic Village, Lake Placid hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. The village is most remembered as the site of the 1980 USA–USSR hockey game, dubbed as the “Miracle on Ice”, however, it is also home to the Mount Hoevenburg Olympic Sports Complex. Here you can participate in a number of Olympic activities; climb into a bobsled and speed down the track alone or with an professional brakeman or just cheer as others race around every turn; glide through the serene, world class cross country skiing trails and test your aim at the rifle range; in summer months explore the rugged trails of Mt. Hoevenburg on two wheels while Cross Country Mountain biking.
There are a few awesome places to pick up some amazing gear throughout Lake Placid as well. High Peaks Cyclery always has great gear for all seasons and authentic apparel. We almost always stop into High Peaks Cyclery to pick up a few things; miro-spikes, weather resistant maps and hats are just a few of the purchases we’ve made through HPC. If you’re looking to rent instead of own certain equipment, HPC is a great place for that as well. SUP, multiple styles of bike, canoes, kayaks, and hiking/camping gear are all available for rent on a 1/2 to full day to a weekly basis! HPC also has guided tours and additional accommodations for all of your Adirondack adventure needs through High Peaks Mountain Guides; they offer rock climbing, ice climbing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, mountain biking and more!
Town is full of great shops! Your typical tourist tees, mixed with fashionable options, and knick-knacks. Be sure to check out Eastern Mountain Sports right in town for great gear and knowledgeable staff members on Main Street in Lake Placid as well!
In Lake Placid, we LOVE Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. It is ALWAYS jam-packed so do not expect to get in, grab a quick meal and get out. There are three different floors each with a lakeside deck, a children’s play area and tours of the brewery as well. We have tried a number of items here; everything from the fish tacos to their juicy burgers and loaded nachos is delicious. Our servers are always friendly and laid back while providing great service and most importantly, the beer is always ice cold and delicious. When you come here, I suggest you start with a flight.
Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery on Main Street is a great place to stop to get the sweet tooth fix! I’ve enjoyed my fair share of ice cream sundaes and milkshakes from this cute little storefront and it never lets me down.
Big Slide Brewery is just outside of Lake Placid and is a sister brewery. This locally sourced farm to table establishment is phenomenal. The concrete topped bar and comfortable dining room sits amidst a hybrid barrel brewhouse. 10 house beers are offered on tap; try each and every single one by ordering two flights, we did!
They really reach outside the ordinary for their menu as well. This isn’t your typical ‘bar food’; only the freshest local ingredients are used to create the most flavorful meals. We started out with Poutine and then ordered two pizzas to share (we like to eat… a lot). The Hunter Pizza is cooked in their 700-degree oven and includes Arugula Pesto, Smoked Venison Sausage, Grilled Red Onion, Pickled Apples, Adirondack Cheddar Cheese; talk about an interesting mix of flavors coming together to perfection! Enjoy the style and the wide open, laid-back atmosphere at a high top for two or a large table with friends. Make sure you at least try the Bourbon Barrel Aged Ubu, twice!
Keene is the epitome of a small, homegrown Adirondack town. Backcountry wanderings from Keene are frequent in my life!
The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, about 15 minutes east of Lake Placid, is another phenomenal store for the best gear. If you think the outside looks eclectic just wait until you step inside to outdoor heaven (sounds like an oxymoron huh). You will see clothing items you haven’t seen anywhere else and all of the absolute BEST brands. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about rentals, guides, and equipment. A really cool store to stop and at least take a peek at
Old Forge is a small mountain town in the south-eastern part of the Adirondacks. This base-camp is a hub for snowmobilers in the winter months and adventure seekers of all sorts all year round! With multiple lakes and mountains nearby there is always something to do.
Tony Harper’s Pizza and Clam Shack is a great place to stop. The place is pretty much always full no matter what time of year it is! Always a good sign and our server was incredibly friendly. On our first visit, we ordered two Saranac S’more Porters, which our server willingly allowed us to taste first, a dozen Whiskey Wings and the Big Pig Pizza. Our server/ the kitchen staff was/were incredibly accommodating with our needs for the pizza (we needed only half of it to have pepperoni but otherwise contain all the other ingredients – bacon, ham, sausage, & pineapple). We ordered a small pizza (6 slices) as opposed to a large (8) and the entire bill was relatively inexpensive. I suggest ordering
the Whiskey Wings; they were huge and the sauce was delicious. Our pizza was also tasty; I am originally from Long Island where pizza is just generally better than most other places but all pizza is different and this pizza was still delicious. I also noticed they had a gluten free crust option available which is nice to see they are trying to accommodate those with special dietary needs (and yes I know, depends on how diligent they are in preparing it too)! All around, a continuous 4 out of 5 stars from us. We have gone in a few times to experience not enough help, or slow servers/kitchen so we take that into account in our rating. I would definitely stop in for a bite!
Ozzie’s Coffee Bar is a perfect morning stop to fuel your day; no better place in the mountains to sip a Chai Latte, devour a delicious baked good and your choice of savory breakfast sandwiches. As if it could get any better, you’ll more often than not be met with a golden wagging tail; the head honcho here is a perfect pup! Friendly staff and warm decoration will aid in your frequent return.
An amazing small town about 15 minutes west of Lake Placid. I’ve done a write-up for The Commonder Magazine and you can read it HERE!