Cool, calm and cov­eted

Lake Placid a dream va­ca­tion dur­ing any sea­son

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - FRONT PAGE - By Tim Reynolds

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Per­haps it’s the fresh-baked cookie that are of­fered to guests as they check into the Mir­ror Lake Inn, the vil­lage’s crown jewel of lodg­ing. Or per­haps it’s how just about ev­ery quaint store and restau­rant in town has some sort of re­minder that mir­a­cles can, and have, hap­pened there.

Ei­ther way, it doesn’t take long upon ar­riv­ing in Lake Placid to re­al­ize there’s some­thing unique about the place.

Known for decades as a win­ter won­der­land and where the U.S. Olympic hockey team stunned the un­beat­able Rus­sians in 1980 in per­haps the most-cel­e­brated sport­ing event ever, Lake Placid is not just for snowy fun any­more. The va­ca­tion haven in the Adiron­dack Moun­tains is a town for all sea­sons now, though the sights this time of year are noth­ing short of Rock­wellian.

“It’s the place you never re­ally think about com­ing to, and then you get here and you never want to leave,” said Scott Nat­ter, a va­ca­tioner from Philadel­phia, Penn., who was tour­ing the Olympic Cen­ter — the arena where the 1980 Mir­a­cle On Ice hap­pened — with two of his chil­dren on a re­cent snowy day. “For us, it’s an an­nual thing now. We say ‘va­ca­tion’ and our kids say ‘Placid.’ ”

With a year-round pop­u­la­tion of about 2,500, Lake Placid has re­mained small but bustling. Tourism and con­tin­u­ing to tell the Olympic tales of 1932 and 1980 are the back­bone of the lit­tle com­mu­nity, where cell ser­vice can still be a touch spotty and few seem to mind.

But with a mix of clas­sic and new attractions and ameni­ties, there’s more to the place now than ever be­fore. White­face Moun­tain still packs in skiers and snow­board­ers with ar­guably the best ter­rain in the East. Thrill-seek­ers can get their fix for speed and dan­ger by tak­ing a bob­sled ride at Mount Van Ho­even­berg. And those just look­ing to un­wind can en­joy a maple sugar body scrub — yes, it is what it sounds like — at Mir­ror Lake Inn.

Hik­ers look­ing to scale any or all of the 46 Adiron­dack peaks that stand 1,400 me­tres or higher tend to start vis­it­ing in the spring. In the sum­mer, there’s an Iron­man triathlon and a renowned horse show (which takes place in the shadow of the 1980 Olympic caul­dron). Leaf­peep­ers pack the re­gion in the fall, get­ting a look at the bril­liant hues be­fore the trees fall bar­ren again for the in­evitable win­ter.

Book­stores, a lit­tle the­atre, an arts cen­tre that lures kids from 160 kilo­me­tres away, fish­ing, golf­ing... some of those might not all be avail­able 12 months a year, but they’re all there. And many of those places are con­nected by brick side­walks where peo­ple can walk about un­both­ered and un­wor­ried, even after night­fall.

“It is beyond a year-round des­ti­na­tion,” said Lisa Weibrecht, who owns and op­er­ates the Mir­ror Lake Inn with her hus­band, Ed. “Win­ter is such a small part of Lake Placid. I would say def­i­nitely sum­mer is the most rec­og­nized sea­son here be­tween the lakes, the moun­tains, peo­ple leav­ing the city. This started as a sum­mer re­sort and our pop­u­la­tion swells by three times dur­ing the sum­mer. I don’t think there’s any place more beau­ti­ful to be than in Lake Placid in the sum­mer and the fall.”

Still, its call­ing card might be win­ter, as ev­i­denced by the two Olympic medals that hang be­hind the front desk at Mir­ror Lake.

Those medals were won by the Weibrecht’s son, An­drew, at the last two Olympic Win­ter Games.

“Peo­ple al­ways say, ‘Can you swim in the lake?’ ” Ed Weibrecht said. “And I tell them, here, you can drink the lake. It’s a won­der­ful place.”

http://www.lake­placid.com/. Events high­lights: http://www.lake­placid.com/events. Lo­cated in north­ern New York, about 137 kilo­me­tres from Mon­treal, 320 kilo­me­tres from Bos­ton and 467 kilo­me­tres from New York City. DIN­ING:

The Break­fast Club Etc., 2490 Main St., https://www.face­book.com/the­break­fast­clu­betc. Two words, ba­con waf­fle.

Smoke Sig­nals, 2489 Main St., http://www.smokes­ig­nalsq.com/. Stop by the bar for a Man­hat­tan, try the Flat­liner.

Taste Bistro, 77 Mir­ror Lake Drive, http://www.mir­ror­lakeinn.com/din­ing/taste-bistro-bar/. Mus­sels ap­pe­tizer is en­tree-sized. LODG­ING Golden Ar­row Lakeside Re­sort, http://www.golden-ar­row.com/. In the cen­tre of town. Mir­ror Lake Inn, http://www.mir­ror­lakeinn.com. Con­tin­u­ally rated one of the coun­try’s best re­sorts.

Art Devlin’s Olympic Mo­tor Inn, http://art­de­vlins.com/in­dex.html. Ad­ja­cent to the Olympic skat­ing oval and Olympic cen­tre.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.