Looking for a nice trail walk?
Try these Lake Placid day hikes for a gentle adventure!
Many people come to the Lake Placid area for major hiking adventures. But one of these Lake Placid day hikes may be just what you're looking for if you'd just like a nice walk in nature!
Not sure what the difference is? A day hike is a walk in nature, usually along a guided trail, that literally only takes a day, or maybe even just part of a day. Some of the hikes I'll recommend only take an hour or two. Just perfect if all you're looking for is to stroll through the woods or along a lake and take in some of the beauty of the Adirondacks. Lake Placid day hikes are perfect for this type of activity.
These trails are pretty well-marked and not usually strenuous if you're in decent shape. It's still a good idea, though, to take along some water and a snack or two - walking in the woods always gives me an appetite! And be sure to let someone know where you're going and how long you plan on being on the trail - that's just good common sense. Click here for more hiking safety tips.
So, without further ado, here are my recommended Lake Placid day hikes!
AROUND MIRROR LAKE
One of my favorite walks to take isn't really a nature walk, exactly ... but I'd hate to have you miss this one! This Lake Placid day hike will give you a really different view of Lake Placid village. Just follow the sidewalk from Main St. in either direction. It's about a 2.5 mile walk and you'll see some absolutely gorgeous homes on the lake, as well as showing you the Adirondacks from a different perspective. This picture gives you an idea of what you'll see.
COBBLE HILL TRAIL
This is a very short hike off of the Cobble Hill Road. It overlooks Mirror Lake and Lake Placid village, as well as giving you a beautiful, 360 degree view of the Olympic Village and some of the surrounding High Peaks.
To access this Lake Placid day hike trail, you'll need to take a little drive. Head out of Lake Placid on Route 86 towards High Falls Gorge (which is actually a neat destination in itself!). The trail to this beautiful little pond is kind of tucked away off of Route 86 in Wilmington Notch. This trail is kind of steep, but short. You'll appreciate the great view of Whiteface Mountain as it looms directly overhead.
PENINSULA NATURE TRAILS
Here is another of my favorite Lake Placid day hikes. This one involves guided nature trails, highlighting some of the different types of ecosystems and microclimates that are common in the Adirondacks.
You'll need to head out on Saranac Avenue toward the Comfort Inn and Howard Johnson Restaurants. The Peninsula Road is in between those two buildings. Take the road for about 1/2 mile to a small parking area. Here you'll find the sign that shows you the dirt road that takes you to the trails themselves.
This is one of those situations where you have to hike to get to the hike! Now you can park at the gate here and you have a short walk to get to the large clearing that the trails start from. Whew! Now you have a choice of 3 different trails.
- The Lakeshore Trail - This trail uses the blue markers and starts at the far left side of the clearing. Follow the sign and trail to the edge of the lake. If you turn right, the trail winds along the shoreline. You'll see a variety of trees, flowers, shrubs, mosses and ferns - this area is moist and low, so these kinds of plants love it here. Soon the trail leaves the shoreline and will turn right, heading back toward the clearing. This trail is about .78 of a mile.
- The Boundary Trail - For this walk, you'll start out on the Lakeshore Trail, but then bear to the left at the edge of the lake, following the red markers. You'll come to a road. Simply cross it and continue on. This trail intersects with the Ridge Trail. Here you'll bear left and continue on back to the clearing. This walk is about .9 of a mile.
- The Ridge Trail - Now you'll look for the yellow markers. This trail takes you up a bit, through forest that was logged back in the 1940's. This is a climax forest of hardwoods, mostly maple, beech and birch trees, with a few hemlock, balsam fir (I love the aroma of these trees in the air!) and poplar thrown in for good measure. This trail is about 1.31 miles.
I wouldn't be a good website hostess if I didn't tell you about the Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Centers.
They're both within an hour's drive from Lake Placid, so I guess they're not really Lake Placid day hikes, but if you like guided nature walks and well-maintained (non-strenuous!) trails, I guarantee you'd find it well worth the drive. One of the Centers is in Newcomb and the other is in Paul Smiths, near Saranac Lake.
These Centers are designed to acquaint people with the natural history of the Adirondacks. The main buildings are designed like the old Adirondack great camps and are filled with exhibits and displays, many of which are "touchable" for the kids. There are also gift shops here.
All of the different trails are accessible from the main buildings, and are easy walks, designed for everyone. What I love the most about these trails is that they have signposts detailing what you're looking at, as well as fantastic boardwalks and overlooks at various interesting places along the way. There are also plenty of benches to sit on, always placed with interesting views in mind.
My all-time favorite spot at these Centers is at the one in Newcomb. There is a trail that takes you to a place called Graveyard Bay. About midway along the trail you'll come to a spot that overlooks the Bay. There's a beautiful wooden deck built right onto the side of a rock cliff (I have no idea how they did it!) and I love to sit there for a time and just take in the beauty around me. I've always seen loons here and it thrills me every time. For me, those birds absolutely represent the Adirondack wilderness.
So if you don't mind driving a little for your Lake Placid day hikes and if you have the time while you're in Lake Placid, I'd highly recommend either of these Interpretive Centers.
Go back to Lake Placid Hiking from Lake Placid Day Hikes.
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