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Adventure Guide: Lake Placid, New York


Fresh mountain air, incredible views, and plenty of outdoor adventure are a few reasons why Lake Placid, New York is a top tourist destination. If you enjoy skiing, hiking, and simply soaking in the scenery, this is the place to be. No matter what season you visit Lake Placid, you’re sure to have a great time!

While the area is packed full of rental cabins, vacation homes, and luxurious hotels, we think camping in your van is the way to travel. Luckily, the town of Lake Placid is surrounded by several campgrounds. Whether you’re looking for RV hookups or a simple campsite with basic amenities, this area can make you feel right at home. Keep reading to learn more about Lake Placid, including what activities to enjoy, some key travel tips, and where to find the area’s best campgrounds.

About Lake Placid

Lake Placid is a small village in the Adirondack Mountains in New York, with only around 2,300 people. The area is well-known as the hosting site for the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980. Today, the village is home to one of three United States Olympic Training Centers. It also hosts popular competitions in downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, speed skating, and more.

While Lake Placid is known as a top winter destination, the summer months are also enjoyed by millions. You can find hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, and much more. If you’re looking for many dining options and things to do in town, head over to the Village of Lake Placid. The area features many delicious restaurants, cool hotels, musical performances, and cultural activities. And better yet, several campgrounds are located close by!

Where to Stop Along the Way

Tucked in the northeastern United States, Lake Placid is in the heart of nature. If you’re driving into the area, be sure to stop by these awesome destinations on the way over:

Heading North

No matter where your journey begins to the south, outdoor adventure is all around. If you’re traveling through Pennsylvania, here are some fantastic hiking spots to check out:

• The Pinnacle Trail in Hamburg
• Falls Trail in Benton
• Canyon Vista Trail in Forksville
• Shades of Death Trail in White Haven

If you’re passing through Delaware, try some bird watching at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge or bike along the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

Driving West

Adventures are always right outside your door when driving west towards Lake Placid. First things first, you have to go hiking in Vermont. Camel’s Hump and the Long Trail are a few fan favorites in the state. If you’re cruising through New Hampshire, stop by the Flume Gorge, which is a massive crack in the rock found at the bottom of Mount Liberty.

Heading South

Before getting to Lake Placid from the north, there are several incredible places to see. Just 30 minutes north of the town is Silver Lake Bog Preserve. This area features excellent views and numerous hiking options. If you’re coming from Canada, consider stopping at Long Sault Parkway, Ontario. This region offers several campsites, hiking trails, and a few beautiful beaches. The park consists of 11 islands connected by road!

Driving East

When driving east, you have to stop at Niagara Falls. It’s something you have to see to believe. Another cool location is Algonquin Provincial Park, right outside of Toronto. It’s incredibly gorgeous during the fall months!

An Abundance of Outdoor Activities at Lake Placid

Whether you visit during a brutal winter or warm summer, Lake Placid has activities the whole family will enjoy. Take a look at some top attractions in the area:


Hiking is arguably the most popular activity in Lake Placid. From steep climbs up the mountain to peaceful walks through the meadow, the area has it all. Here are a few of the most popular hikes in the region:

• Mount Marcy
• Mount Jo Loop Trail
• Phelps Mountain Trail
• Brewster Peninsula Loop
• Balanced Rock

Being in the heart of nature, Lake Placid has trails all over. Also, many routes are located very close to campgrounds!


Lake Placid is the perfect place to take a swim. In fact, the Adirondack Mountains have over 3,000 different lakes and ponds, including several streams and rivers. If you’re looking for quick access to the water, head over to Lake Placid Public Beach. This sandy beach area is located on the south end of Mirror Lake. If you take a 30-minute drive, you can get to a beautiful swimming hole in Jay, New York. Called the Covered Bridge Swimming Hole, this awesome swim spot is found near the covered bridge and falls.

Water Recreation

Hopping on a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard is another beloved activity in Lake Placid. Whether you enjoy intense whitewater or a calm lake, the area has everything. Some notable paddling spots include Mirror Lake, Lake Colby, and Lake Placid. The region also has several places to rent kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, jet skis, and more!

Skiing & Snowboarding

If you’re ready to hit the slopes, Lake Placid is the place to be. Located just 13 miles from Lake Placid is Whiteface Mountain. The resort features 11 lifts, 90 trails, and 288 skiable acres. Whether you enjoy calm rides down the mountain or steep, heart-pounding runs, Whiteface has it all. If you prefer exploring the backcountry, the Adirondacks offer tons of space to roam around.

Rock Climbing

Are you a climber? If so, there are plenty of sweet routes in the Lake Placid area. In fact, Lake Placid offers some of the best climbing in the Adirondacks. Henderson Cliff, Avalanche Pass, and Gothics are some of the most notable climbing spots in the area.


If you’re traveling by van, then you’ve probably been searching for a campground in the area. Luckily, whether you like dispersed camping in the forest or campgrounds with all the hookups, Lake Placid has you covered.

Here are some camping options in the area:

• ADK Wilderness Campground
• Meadowbrook State Campground
• Drapers Acres
• Cascade Acres

These campsites are located just minutes from several outdoor adventures, giving you more time to explore!

Travel Tips

Check out these insider tips to make your Lake Placid trip one to remember:

• Fall is the best season for hiking—the foliage is amazing!
• May through August is the warmest time to visit—but it can get crowded
• The two main events in Lake Placid are the Flaming Leaves Festival in October and the I Love Barbecue Festival in July.
• Adirondack Park, Olympic Museum, and Lake Placid Center for the Arts are other must-see locations in the area
• As Lake Placid can get busy, book campgrounds and attractions way ahead of time


Check out more details on the area’s most loved activities:


Mount Marcy Trail: The Hungry Hiker, 1002 Adirondack Loj Rd, Lake Placid, NY 12946
Mount Jo Loop Trail: 983 Adirondack Loj Rd, North Elba, NY 12946
Phelps Mountain Trail: North Elba, New York


Lake Placid Public Beach: 31 Parkside Dr, Lake Placid, NY 12946
Covered Bridge Swimming Hole: 85-362 Glen Rd, Jay, NY 12941


ADK Wilderness Campground: 1002 Adirondack Loj Road, Lake Placid
Meadowbrook State Campground: 1174 NY-86, Ray Brook, NY 12977
Cascade Acres: 5794 Cascade Rd Lake Placid, NY 12946

Hidden Gems

Here are some off-the-beaten-path attractions in the area:

• Moose Island
• Middle Saranac Lake
• Raquette River Brewing
• The town of Tahawus
• John Brown’s Farm
• Lake Tear of the Clouds

Start the Ride with Rec Van Today!

If you want a comfortable, high-quality campervan for all of your Lake Placid adventures, Rec Van is the solution! We’re happy to be a new and used van provider located in Fremont, California. Rec Van carries the leading brands in the industry, including Winnebago, Thor Motor Coach, Leisure Travel Vans, Storyteller Overland, Entegra Coach, and more!

Find your adventure van today or contact us for more information!