Winter (-ish) Hiking – Lake Placid, NY

Mirror Lake, Lake Placid, on a rainy foggy day

Those who know me also know that my favorite activity is to take a hike in the woods. The hike doesn’t need to be up, doesn’t need to be long, it just needs to be. I have a favorite dish towel that shows an owl on a branch and reads “The Woods are Calling and I Must Go.” So by day 3 of the Lake Placid adventure, I was itching to get out in the woods, the endless Adirondack woods, with my crazy dog Katie Puppy.

The major issue was that on the third day of Lake Placid, it was pouring rain. Pouring. I wasn’t getting any other takers on my hike so I quickly looked in the AllTrails app I have and saw that Mirror Lake (the lake in “downtown” Lake Placid) was a thing. A 2. 7 mile walk around the lake. So off we went without looking any further.

Lake Placid is not so friendly to car visitors. It wants more money per hour than Boston. I hate paying for parking so I slowly circled the lake in the car, finally discovering a free spot right in from of the Lake Placid Brewing Company. I assure you that was merely chance, and at 7:30 am, not really all that interesting. I leashed up the doggo and we walked through the small park at the top of the lake, towards the shore.

Boring! Exciting when a car passed by a splashed us with water though

Here I have to admit that the trail was a complete disappointment. If I had actually read the description of the walk, I would have known that it was straight through the shopping downtown of Lake Placid then alongside the fancy hotels and houses and entirely sidewalk. Actually sidewalk and melting ice. And mean small dogs who scared the beejees out of my wimpy lab mix. I did marvel at a toboggan slide that took you 50 feet up, then you slid down and across the lake. Or not, on this semi-warm, rainy day. It was closed, of course. Next time.

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Toboggan onto semi-iced lake

The main joy of this walk was gazing at the foggy rainy lake, and the twin paved pathways across the ice. It seems that you can just get on the ice road from your house (strapping on your skates, not your car) and go across for dinner and a movie in downtown Lake Placid. That was cool! I would like to go back for a skate around Mirror Lake some time when you can’t hear the ice making crackly impending death noises. Katie and I walked the 2.7 miles which we enjoyed as an urban hike. Sadly the brewing company was not open at 8:30 am when we finished.

It’s not even taken black and white, yet it is. 

Later that day, I tried again. Our rental house was right down from the Northville-Placid-Wanika Falls trail, 133-miles long one way, and no, I was not planning on doing that all on a rainy cloudy afternoon. It looked like a lovely trail for a cross-country ski or snowshoe, but honestly, I got about a half mile in and was exhausted. I’m not in that bad a shape, wise guys, but the combo ice/slush affair mixed with the poop of a million dogs whose owners do not believe in trail clean-up, made me call in an evening. Katie Puppy was disappointed…so we planned a bigger hike for the next day.


At the very end of Averyville Road, there was apparently another trail (and by the way, there is no Averyville unless it is the big red barn that marks the changeover from pavement to mud. Lots of mud). Past this barn is a short muddy drive that leads to a private club (do not go in there, they probably have lots of deer-killing machinery) and the trail head for Pine Pond Trail.

Biiiig red barn. Photo taken on previous rainy day.

As trails go, Pine Pond is not challenging. It is usually a snowmobile trail (none there on this post-rain day) and winds its way a little up, a little down, a little left and a little right. What continues to amaze and delight me though are the trees of the Adirondacks. Birches, evergreens, trees trees trees.  A gorgeous blue-sky day. Evil ice hidden under slush. We laughed, slid and hiked for a couple of hours.

Lalo sliding down around the corner! Aaaaahhhh!!!

All this is to say that no visit to Lake Placid or the Adirondacks is complete without a walk in the woods. It doesn’t have to be the challenging Mount Marcy. The famous Mount Jo. Just put on your hiking boots (and note to self: yak trax next time) and go. Put on your cross country skis and go. Put on your snowshoes and go. The woods are calling you…


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