Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lake Placid, More Than Just a Memory

Winter is coming.  It arrived yesterday here in the Northeast, so it makes me turn my attention to the fact that there are a lot of wonderful things to do in the winter.
Let's start with Lake Placid.  It's a wonderful place that we all know has hosted two Olympics in 1932 and 1980.  We all know that the Miracle on Ice happened there.  But, what happens after the Olympics go away?  Do things deteriorate and fall apart?  Do the towns nearby turn into ghost towns?  Do people forget?  I suppose that could happen, but it doesn't in Lake Placid.  There are wonderful things to do there.
Above is a picture of the bobsled run.  This is for highly trained individuals, right?  Wrong!  At Lake Placid they have what they call the Bobsled Experience.  That's right.  You get to take a whirl at bobsledding.  They teach you how it works, and you get to ride with a trainer who really knows their stuff.  All the guidance and support you need to try this high speed ultimately dangerous sport.  You won't ever forget the feel of flying down a bobsled run.  And you won't want to.  It's the thrill of a lifetime.
But, if that's not your cup of tea, Lake Placid has much more to offer.
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This is the toboggan chute near the Olympic Complex.  This is a great family friendly ride that runs all year in North Elba and was a favorite activity for me when I was growing up.

Have you ever wondered how anyone becomes a Biathelete? Well, here's your first step.  At Lake Placid you can take lessons and learn with the best how to shoot and ski into this sport.  The trainers are highly experienced athletes in this somewhat elusive sport.  And the best part is that you get to shoot!  It's a great activity.     

Dog Sledding is something else that you can do in the area.  You can learn how to take the dogs for a whirl by yourself with lessons from their highly experienced trainers or you can just go for a ride.  It's up to you.  It depends on how much time you have and how daring you are.  Dog sledding takes a little work.

Cross Country Skiing is the one thing that almost anyone can do.  There are a lot of folks that shy away from skiing because they don't want to go screaming down a hill, scared that they'll inadvertently have an unexpected turn that sends them hurtling into a tree.  Lake Placid has the cure for that.  There are many, and I mean many places in the area that you can go cross country skiing.  Take your pick.   It's a great way to get in touch with nature, with just a little less thrill.

You don't have to go looking far either.  You can do your skiing on the 50 km of trails right in the Olympic Complex area.
Those cross country ski areas are also great for showshoeing.  So either way, check out some fabulous scenery with some cross country skis or snowshoes.
And for you skiers, there's Whiteface Mountain. There are 86 ski runs and 11 ski lifts on this famous two time Olympic ski mountain.


There's everything the skier will love here from lessons and the bunny slopes to highly advanced runs for the thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies.

Snow tubing is another family friendly activity.  The tubing chute is ready and available all season for you sliding needs.  This one is great for the kids.

Then there's the skeleton experience.  This one is for the people like me who did crazy stuff on their sleds as a child.  Take your childhood fantasies and run them down the bobsled run at speeds you can't even imagine.
Now, not everyone is going to want to slide, shoot, and ski to their possible deaths.  Not everyone is going to want to risk frostbite just to have fun.  Lake Placid's got you covered too.  The area is unbelievably beautiful.  The towering Adirondacks are some of the most amazing mountains around.  They are the highest mountains in the east accept for the tiny White Mountain Range in New Hampshire.  The rocks are jagged and the waterfalls are huge.  Great Falls Gorge isn't far, and the views are great.

The village of Lake Placid is a beautiful almost Alpine looking place with lots of accommodations, good restaurants and clubs and little shops to keep you busy all day long.  If that isn't what you're looking for, you may want to try some ice skating at the Olympic Complex.
 Olympics Metal Rings
Then again, for all you sports history buffs, there's the Olympic Museum where you can relive the story of the miracle on ice.
There are many things to do in the winter in Lake Placid.  There's a reason why this location was chosen for the Olympic Games not once, but twice.  It's small and peaceful, with friendly folks and world class athletes in training.  So, if you've always wondered what it would be like to scream down that bobsled run, this is a great way to find out.

Come on, wouldn't you like to visit a place where miracles happen and dreams come true?

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