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Lake Placid, New York Travel Guide

Lake Placid is a small village in the Adirondack Mountains? in upstate New York. It is known for being the site of both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics?.


The town of Lake Placid began as an iron mining operation in the 1800s. In 1845 Gerrit Smith bought a large amount of land near the town, much of which was given to his slaves showing his support of abolition. The famous abolitionist John Brown heard of Gerrit's work and decided to buy land and move to the town. He is burying on his farm outside of town.

By the 1900s the area became popular for its outdoor activities and its exclusive Lake Placid Club. The 1932 Olympics were held in Lake Placid due to its superior facilities at the time.


Lake Placid held both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics and is most famous in Olympic history for the "Miracle on Ice," when the underdog U.S. Hockey team upset the favored Russian team and won the gold metal.

The old facilities are still in place and are still used to hold national and world class competitions. Visitors can pay to go on the remains of the boblsed course. Though expensive, the downhill course offers an exhilirating ride! Also, visitors can simply tour the premises of the past Olympics, including the ice rink and ski jumps.


The town is near the popular ski resort of White Face Mountain, which boast the most vertical skiing distance in the Northeast. A fun activity for families is taking a dog sled ride over the frozen Mirror Lake, which the town borders.

Downtown Lake Placid is full of interesting shopping right on the lake. Hip and funky stores, along with chain favorites, line the sidewalks. Though cool and fun, Lake Placid can be crowded with with visitors. There are many surrounding villages to escape to.

A fun day trip to the nearby lake town of Saranac Lake could be in order to escape the congestion of Lake Placid. Plenty of shopping in both towns!

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