Snow Sports Overview: Adirondacks State Park

Adirondacks, New York

  • At the Mount Van Hoevenberg Recreation Area, between Lake Placid and Keene, the site of the 1980 Olympics has been turned into a 20-mile network of connecting trails built to international standards.
  • The 25-mile Jackrabbit Trail is one the most popular ski trails in the region, running between Keene and Saranac Lake. You’ll pass downtown Lake Placid and its Olympic Village en route.
  • For machine-groomed, well-maintained trails suitable for both traditional diagonal stride and ski-skating, try Crandall Park in Glens Falls. The trails are professionally designed and maintained by volunteers, and the skiing is free.
  • The famed Northville-Lake Placid Trail is good for hiking, and many of its 133 miles also are suitable for ungroomed, backcountry skiing. The section from Benson to Silver Lake Lean-to is a well-graded 6.3 mile climb, which means an easy 6.3 mile return.

Twice the site of the Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is a world-class competition center. Whiteface boasts the east's highest vertical drop (3,216 feet), but also harbors a reputation for being cold and icy. One advantage of being an Olympics center is you can try your hand at the activities you see on TV come the Winter Olympics. Lake Placid has facilities for tobogganing, bob sledding, luge riding, and ice skating. You can even catch a hay ride or an international hockey match.

Gore appeals to the traditionalist. Even though Gore, like Placid, is operated by the Olympic Regional Development Authority, it has a very different character than Placid. Gore's trail system is pleasantly tree-lined, with many twists and turns. Facilities include an excellent daycare center for children and a lift system that offers glorious views.

If those two aren't enough for you, other Adirondack ski areas include McCauley Mountain, Oak Mountain, Big Tupper, Paleface, and Hickory.

The Adirondacks offers plenty of ways for cross-country skiers to hit the trail. Many of the Adirondacks superlative hiking trails do double duty in the winter. The Northville-Placid Trail has many skiable stretches. Old Forge is another excellent vicinity, and our eternal favorite, the Santanoni Preserve, is superbly skiable. If you like your skiing wild and wooly, the Cranberry Lake area challenges those with the best wilderness skills.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »