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Visit Lake Placid’s Olympic Sites this Winter for a Trip You Won’t Forget

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2019-01-23 07:32:00

It’s no secret that the Adirondack town of Lake Placid is a winter wonderland. And while it’s a popular place for skiing and snowboarding this time of year, you don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast to enjoy the exploits of the world-class athletes that came before you. Lake Placid was home to two rounds of Winter Olympics, once in 1932 and again in 1980, and there are plenty of landmarks to visit in town, made all the more authentic by a dusting of snow, that you won’t want to miss while you’re here.

The Olympic Center is located right on Main Street in the village of Lake Placid, and it’s a living, breathing piece of history. The home of some of the greatest athletic victories of the 1980 games, the center is home to the ice rink where the US defeated the Soviet Union in the Miracle on Ice and that speed skater Eric Hieden won five different victories. A guided tour of the center offers insight from guides who were there in 1980, providing a top-notch experience for anyone interested in getting the real feel for this legendary spot. The Center is also home to the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, where you can get the whole story on both the 1932 and 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games and the history of the Olympics itself. There’s also public ice skating available on the center’s four ice rinks.

Just outside of the village lies Whiteface Mountain, which is also home to a variety of Olympic sites. At the Olympic Sports Complex, absorb the stories of both sets of Olympic Games that took place here and see the state-of-the-art combined bobsled, luge and skeleton track, which you can tour as part of the International Sliding Sports Exhibit. If a tour isn’t quite enough to get your adrenaline pumping, you can climb in a bobsled or partake in a skeleton slide yourself and rocket down an icy track at speeds upwards of 30 miles per hour—that should do the trick. Looking for something in between? If you’re in town at the right time, you can catch at bobsled, luge or skeleton race from the sidelines, too.

Make sure to include a stop at the Olympic Jumping Complex, one of the most iconic spots in town, which is the home of the towering ski jumps that made history during the Olympics. An elevator ride to the top, 120 meters up, offers a peek at the ski jumpers’ prep room and a panorama of the surrounding wilderness, including the High Peaks, from the skydeck, plus an up-close look at the views the jumpers stared down before their descent to the bottom. Of course, that’s not the only way to take in breathtaking views; weather permitting, you can climb aboard the Cloudsplitter Gondola for a trip to the top of Little Whiteface Mountain and back, which departs from the ski lodge.                                                                        

Of course, there’s also plenty of outdoor activities to do if you so choose. Whiteface Mountain is known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding, and is also the home of the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Cross Country & Biathlon Center, which boats cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, plus a biathlon shooting range. And if you can’t decide which activities sound best to you, then you don’t have to choose; you can get an Olympic Sites Passport and gain access to almost all of them.

View from Mt Van Hoevenberg photo credit Lake Placid Region
Olympic Sports Complex sign photo credit Mark Metzler
Bobsled photo credit Lake Placid Region
Olympic Ski jumps photo credit Chris Waits

posted at: 2019-01-23 07:32:00, last updated: 2020-03-17 20:12:36

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