-Take the Kids and Get ‘Wild’ in the Adirondacks this Winter
Did you know the Adirondacks form the largest park in the continental US? The 9,375 square miles these mountains call home make this park larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Great Smoky Mountains and Grand Canyon National Parks combined and are covered with wild terrain to explore. Being from Connecticut, I am surprised it took us this long to venture to these mountains which are home of Lake Placid and the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Our drive into the area was magnificent and we looked out our windows in awe as rivers, mountains, grand peak, the Olympic village, and remnants of the Olympic Games greeted us .
Skiing and Outdoor Pursuits
There are so many ways to get wild in the Adirondacks. Topping out at 120 meters, the ski jumps near Lake Placid are incredible and the view from the elevator ride to the top can be all yours. At times there is actual training going on- what a rush! The ski area is operated by Whiteface, Lake Placid through whom you can ski at the highest ski area east of the Rockies, ice skate in the Olympic arena, Bobsled, or ride the Skeleton. My family had the opportunity to get wild on the magnificent slopes at Whiteface, the site of the Olympic contests in 1980. The tallest trail here is at over 3000 feet! Although none of us went quite that high, it was a thrill not soon forgotten. We were lucky enough to get a ton of skiing in as we stayed in the nearby Ledge Rock at Whiteface, a true 2 minute drive from the ski area. The kids loved playing outdoors with the innkeeper’s pets. I thought the cold would cut their play time short, but they were ready for any wild adventure thrown their way.
Read Michelle’s full review of Ledge Rock at Whiteface.
Want to ski with your kids at Whiteface? Get the full scoop with this review of Whiteface Mountain Ski Center.
The Adirondacks are known as a fishing mecca. Although winter is not the best time for trout fishing you can scope out the areas you might want to return to in April when the weather gets balmy. If you are up for a truly chilly adventure, try the winter ice fishing. The closest we got to fishing this winter was eating the reward! We had some grand trout dinners at the Hungry Trout and Wilderness Inn in nearby Wilmington. Even the kids were up for trying out some wild caught dinners.
Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
You cannot get more wild than aliens! Lucky for us they were carved in ice and part of the ice palace for the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. With an alien invasion theme, this 10 day festival, the longest running event of its kind (115 wild years), celebrates mid-winter with a variety of activities including races, parades, contests, music and dancing culminating with a fireworks show over the intricately carved ice palace that you can actually walk through.
We continued our wild tour by visiting the Wild Center. This natural history museum of the Adirondacks boasts LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certification and is truly a wild place. Kids love the hands on nature of this site and the exhibits continue outdoors at “The Pines” where you can wear snowshoes (provided for free by the museum) and have a blast in their Adirondacks-styled play area. You can also visit the Lake Placid Olympic Museum to check out Olympic memorabilia and view a clip depicting the wild victory of the USA over Russia in 1980.
Disclosure: My family and I were provided a 2 night stay At Ledge Rock at Whiteface, skiing rentals, lessons and lift tickets from Whiteface in addition to admission to the Wild Center in order to evaluate the area. I was not required by any facility to write a specific review. All opinions are my own.