Lake Placid Information

Lake Placid lies in Essex County in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York State 20 miles west of the Vermont border. It is connected to two lobes, “East Lake” by Shelter and Sunset Straits and “West Lake” by West Bay, and separated by Buck, Hawk, and Moose Islands. The Shore Owners’ Association of Lake Placid (SOA), incorporated in 1893, manage the Lake Placid and own the Marcy Dam on Lake Placid. 

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) manages Lake Placid’s fish operations. The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) and Ausable River Association (ARA) have co-led the Lake Placid management plan development. Lake Placid covers 2,173 acres with a shoreline of about 20 miles, an average depth of 50 feet, and a maximum depth of 151 feet. 

Lake Placid is 4-miles long and 1.5-miles wide with two deep basins. Low hills cover the islands between the three reservoirs that match the taller Adirondack Mountains surrounding them. The village of Lake Placid is near the center of the town of North Elba, 50 miles southwest of Plattsburgh. Lake Placid, along with nearby Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, comprise the Tri-Lakes region.

Lake Placid fills a natural geologic basin, draining the McKenzie Mountains to the west, Whiteface Mountain to the north and Mount Whitney to the east. The term ‘Placid Lake’ is used when it is necessary to set it apart the Lake from the Village of Lake Placid. Historians trace permanent residences along the shores of the Lake to 1870. 

Lake Placid History

Lake Placid is first found on a map in 1840. Before 1809, the Iroquois and Mohawk Indians inhabited Lake Placid’s region in the Adirondack Mountains. Archeological evidence shows that the Indians had summer camps in the region and moved further south in the winter. The first settlers in the Lake Placid region, Elijah and Rebecca Bennet, with their seven children, traveled over Old Mountain Road.

Old Mountain Road is still in use today and was amid a dispute between New York State and snowmobilers for 15 years in the courts. The snowmobilers use a 3.5-mile section of Old Mountain Road at Lake Placid. In the early 1800s, they called the road he Northwest Bay Trail and later Old Military Road. Most of the first settlers came to Lake Placid on this road. 

The 4.5-mile section of the original road in dispute still exists, as it was 200 years at Lake Placid and runs parallel to state Route 73 on the northern side of Pitchoff Mountain. Horses and oxen clipped-clopped frequently on Old Mountain Road from 1800 to 1810.  The thunk of axes chopping down trees, and water wheels grinding grain on the Chubb River filled the air during that decade. 

By 1815, the area had a few hundred settlers. The village of North Elba had built a grist mill, churches, schools, and an iron works. But in 1816, blizzards came once a month during June, July and August, which caused the threat of starvation. There were no seed potatoes or other seeds in 1817, and people left in droves. Ten families stuck it out. Squire Osgood owned North Elba’s first Inn and Tavern and took over all the abandoned fields for his sheep and cattle. North Elba began to repopulate in the 1840s. 

By the 1890s, Lake Placid was a highly developed recreational area for wealthy tourists. Melvil Dewey, resident and inventor of the Dewey Decimal System, established the "Placid Park Club" in 1895 in North Elba. This inspired the village to change its name to Lake Placid and incorporated the village in 1900. Dewey opened the club for the winter in 1905, and winter sports became popular at Lake Placid. 

The Shore Owners’ Association of Lake Placid (“SOA”) incorporated in 1893. The Lake Placid area had built a ski jump, speed skating venue, and ski association by 1921. Dr. Godfrey Dewey, Melvil Dewey's son, persuaded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that Lake Placid had the best winter sports facilities in the United States. The Lake Placid Club hosted the headquarters for the IOC for the 1932 and the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. 

The SOA bought Lake Placid in 1892 from the Peru Steel Ore Company under the leadership of Colonel Abraham Mills, owner of what is now the Whiteface Club and Resort. Over the years, the SOA has replaced the dam, rebuilt the bridge over the dam, managed lake traffic with a buoy system, established a fire station, and operated a Coast Guard vessel. Today, the SOA II is very much involved in the operations of Lake Placid.

Lake Placid Fishing

Predominant game species include smallmouth and rock bass, brown bullhead, muskellunge, yellow perch, northern pike, pumpkinseed sunfish, brook, brown, lake, rainbow trout, and walleye. Lake trout naturally reproduce in Lake Placid, which produced state record lake trout in 1986, and the lake gives up trophy-sized pike and walleye. 

Lake Placid bass fishing includes the rocky shoals for smallmouth bass, but the lake is better known for quality trout fishing. Fly fishing for rainbow trout during hatches is quite productive. The NYDEC stocks Lake Placid with rainbow trout annually. Anglers find lake trout in the deeper sections of the lake by trolling. The trout mainly feed on mysid (shrimp-like crustacean) and then switch to a fish diet as larger adults.

Ice fishing is prohibited on Lake Placid. A paved NYDEC launch sits at the lake's southern end in the village of Lake Placid. There are three marinas on Lake Placid, and one has nightly and weekly mooring rates, and several boat rental options. There are only a few Lake Placid fishing guides, but they are extremely knowledgeable. 

Check out experienced local pro guides on our Lake Placid Fishing Guides page. 

Lake Placid Boating

Boating has long been an integral part of life on the Lake Placid. There are no roads in most of the wilderness surrounding Lake Placid, and boats can only reach much of its shorelines. Boating is the best way to experience the stunning beauty of the Lake. Lake Placid has three marinas and boat rental services. There is one paved NYDEC public boat launch at the southern end of the lake. 

The Lake Placid Marina & Boat Tours offers boat tours with a guide and captain full of Lake Placid historical knowledge that takes you to see the camps surrounding the lake. Waterski, wake-board, and tube, and check out the water ski slalom course next to Moose Island, or go cliff diving off the sheer cliffs of Pulpit Rock. Moose Island has a lean-to with a dock and fire pit. The Adirondack lean-tos are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Shop or sell a boat on our Lake Placid Boats for Sale page.  

Plan your trip to Lake Placid by calling one of the marinas today on our Lake Placid Marinas page, and be sure to check out our Lake Placid Boat Ramps Map

Lake Placid Real Estate

Lake Placid homes for sale wrap around its southern border from the village of Lake Placid west and north to the tiny community of Whiteface. Homes near the lake start at just under $1million, and go much higher from there. The median price for homes in the village of Lake Placid is $45,000, but go up from there. Homebuyers can typically find around 100 listings for homes and condos at any time. 

The Lake Placid Airport offers charter flights, aircraft maintenance, travel and transportation logistics, flight instruction, aircraft rentals, and airport management for the Lake Placid Airport in the village of Lake Placid. The Burlington International Airport is the nearest one to Lake Placid in Vermont and 62 miles away, but it takes two hours to get there from Lake Placid.

The nearest Walmart Supercenter is in Pittsburg, New York, 60 miles from the village of New York. The villages of Lake Placid and Whiteface have grocery stores, and other shopping and service conveniences. The Lake Placid Central School Districts provides public education for the region. Most of the restaurants and nightclubs are in Lake Placid and Whiteface.  

To find your dream home, explore our Lake Placid Homes for Sale page. 

Lake Placid Cabin Rentals

Lake Placid has a limited number of cabin, condo, cottage, and vacation home rentals. They come equipped in a wide range of sizes and amenities. They range from a little over $200 a night and go up from there, and owned privately. There are no parks, state or privately owned, at Lake Placid to rent cabins. Cascade Acres in Lake Placid Village rents houses and homes and Draper’s Acres offers cabins.  

There are two hotels on Lake Placid’s shores, plus the Lake Placid Lodge, and the Whiteface Lodge, and several more in the village of Lake Placid. You can find lodges and cabins tucked into the mountains surrounding Lake Placid. In the summer season, tourists snap up these vacation rentals quickly. It is best to plan your trip and book a rental far in advance. 

Find the perfect vacation home on our Lake Placid Cabins page. 

Lake Placid Camping

There are no campgrounds on Lake Placid, but there are three campgrounds within a short driving distance to the lake, about eight and 20 miles away, Draper’s Acres, Eastern Shore Campground, and Meadowbrook Campground. Meadowbrook is on Wolf Pond, west of Lake Placid. The Eastern Shore Campground is further northeast on Copperas pond. There are no real Lake Placid RV parks, but you can take your RV or tent to Draper’s Acres, south of the village of Lake Placid. Book your campground early.

Check out our list of campgrounds and RV parks for your family adventure on our Lake Placid Camping page. 

Hiking Lake Placid

There are four hiking trails near the shores of Lake Placid, Cobble Hill Trailhead, Jackrabbit Trailhead, Lake Shore Trail, and Peninsula Trails. There are numerous other trails in the Lake Placid Region. Cobble Hill is a 0.8 mile hike to the summit along a short but steep route. From the old trailhead parking, look for the trailhead sign at the edge of the woods.

The 32-mile Jackrabbit Trail runs from Keene, through Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, to Paul Smiths. This trail connects with four ski centers and several backcountry routes along the way. The Peninsula Trails are located on the shores of Lake Placid tucked away on a dirt road. 

The NYDEC used old access roads and opened up new trails to develop this year-round destination. The Peninsula Trails have turned into a destination for cross-country skiers, snowshoers, mountain bikers, trail runners, hikers, family picnics, and anglers. You will meet all types of recreationalists, young and old, and novice to experienced hikers on these trails. 

The Peninsula Trails include the Corridor Trail, the initial trail accesses this trail network. From the gate, you descend slightly to a trail register. The trail continues to descend and eventually flattens out as it accesses the other three trails. It ends at the start of the Ridge Trail. It is 0.75-miles one way.

Lake Shore Trail follows the shoreline of Lake Placid before ending at the dam. This trail is much rockier and more uneven than the rest of the trail, but is a highlight of the system. It is 0.4-miles one way.

The Boundary Trail is a connector trail and relatively flat with little change in elevation. It is 0.9-miles in one way.

Ridge Trail starts from the end of the Corridor Trail and climbs steadily to the top of a long ridge. The trail then drops suddenly about 20-feet before moderately descending through a very attractive forest to the Boundary Trail. It is 0.7-miles one way.

Lake Placid Things to Do

Most of the Lake Placid restaurants are in the villages of Lake Placid and Whiteface, along with establishments that serve alcohol. The Lake Placid Club offers 45 holes of golf in Lake Placid Village. Their award-winning courses offer a unique variety of golf for players of all skill levels, vacation lodging, and homes: 88 Morningside Drive, Lake Placid, New York. 

The Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex comprises a HS100 and HS128-meter ski jumps towers built for the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York. The complex modernized them in 2021. Skiers use it in summer and winter. The sky deck on the 120-meter jump offers views of nearby John Brown's Farm and the surrounding lofty peaks of the Adirondacks. Training and competition for Nordic ski jumping takes place year round on a plastic mat out-run. They are located two miles from Lake Placid, off the Old Military Road, in Essex County, New York. 

The Lake Placid Olympic Museum commemorates the 1932 Winter Olympics and 1980 Winter Olympics. It is one of the few Olympic museums in the United States.  The museum’s collection includes the "Fram III" bobsled from the 1932 Olympic Games which had been missing for over sixty years prior to being donated to the museum, the skates used by Jack Shea in the same games, as well as memorabilia from the 1980 Miracle on Ice hockey team.

The John Brown Farm State Historic Site contains the home and final resting place of abolitionist John Brown. It is located on John Brown Road in the town of North Elba, three miles southeast of Lake Placid, New York, where John Brown moved in 1849 to teach farming to African American slaves. A 1935 visitor reported, "The site which so captivated John Brown on his first visit and held his interest to the end of his life, is one of the most impressive in the Adirondacks.”

The Adirondack Foot Sanctuary offers wellness events from meditations to workshops with leaders of the wellness community in the Lake Placid area for feet and legs. Clients come away reporting amazing results of their feet and legs and the divine experience that lasts for weeks after their treatment. 2565 Main Street, Lake Placid, New York. 

The Palace Theatre at 2430 Main St, Lake Placid, New York, was built in 1926. It is the best in the old-timey theaters. This theater only takes cash and does not presell tickets. The ticket and refreshment prices are extremely reasonable. Showtimes are at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and matinees are 3:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

ADK Aquatics, LLC provides wakeboard, waterski, and wakesurf lessons, plus tubing excursions and private boat tours on Lake Placid beginning in May each year. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, their staff provides one-on-one instruction to all levels and abilities. Reservations are required and they recommend making them when they close for the winter because ADK Aquatics is often fully booked up. 

The Uihlein Sugar Maple Research Forest at 157 Bear Cub Lane, Lake Placid, New York, is part of the Cornell Sugar Maple Program. The Uihlein’s 200-plus acres of forest is an outdoor laboratory for the study of maple syrup production, forest management, forest health, and agroforestry. Products from the Uihlein Forest’s 6,000 sugar maple taps and 600 birch taps directly support the long-term research and extension efforts of the Cornell Maple Program. 

Tours of the Uihlein Maple Research Forest are available anytime of the year, but late February through April is the best time to observe maple production. Because syrup production is highly weather dependent, tours of the actual production operations are not available every day. The facility accommodates numbers ranging from small families to larger bus tours or groups attending conventions in the Lake Placid area and asks interested visitors to call ahead. 

Plan the perfect day trip or vacation on our Things to Do at Lake Placid page.

Lake Placid Zip Codes

Essex County: 12913, 12946.

Lake Placid Weather & Climate

Lake Placid sees an average of 41 inches of rain with 102-inches of snow and 159 days of sunshine per year. The winter low in January is four degrees and a summer high in July of 76 degrees. June, July, and August are the most comfortable months for this region. December and January are the least comfortable months. 

Keep your eyes on the skies with our Lake Placid Weather Forecast page. 

Lake Placid Email Updates


Lake Placid Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Lake Placid Weather Forecast


Chance Rain Showers

Hi: 77

Friday Night

Slight Chance Rain Showers

Lo: 60


Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 78

Saturday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 58


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 81

Sunday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 63


Thunderstorms Likely

Hi: 81

Monday Night

Chance Rain Showers

Lo: 65

Lake Placid Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 7/13: 42.75 (-1,814.25)

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