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Saranac Lake - Lake Placid, New York

Updated on July 8, 2023
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Exploring new places can be great fun especially when it's something a little different. When I find something interesting, I love to share

Adirondack Carousel

Adirondack Carousel
Adirondack Carousel | Source

Saranac Lake and Lake Placid in New York State's Adirondack Mountains

Saranac Lake and Lake Placid are located less than 10 miles apart on Route 86 within the boundaries of Adirondack Park in upstate New York. Adirondack Park is the size of the State of Vermont. Saranac Lake and Lake Placid are just two of the the over 100 villages and towns inside the park --- there are no cities.

This area offers year round recreational opportunities: skiing, fishing, hiking, boating, canoeing, swimming. In the autumn, you need to book lodging early, as the fall foiliage is incredible on the mountains. Ask directions to the apple orchards for some freshly picked apples and maple syrup.

Lake Placid is larger and more upscale than Saranac Lake and offers boutique shopping. Saranac Lake is tends to have less traffic and more affordable restaurants and lodging.

For the past five years, or so, we have been having been having a mini family reunion in this area and have visited a lot of the local sites and dined at the local restaurants.

Have you ever been to the Adirondack Region of Upstate New York?

See results

The Adirondack Carousel, Saranac Lake, New York - Did you ever ride a duck? or a trout? skunk?

Adirondack Carousel
Adirondack Carousel | Source

On May 26, 2012 the Adirondack Carousel opened.

If you have ever been to the Adirondacks you will notice the amazing amount of wood carvings of wildlife displayed and available for sale. Often the carvings are of bear or moose. You will see where a tree was partially cut down, and instead of removing the stump, it was carved into an animal.

The idea of the Adirondack Carousel is to showcase the the amazing work of all the local wood carving artists by having them each carve a native wildlife figure for the carousel --- they are not your usual carousel animals. There is a black fly, trout, heron, racoon, deer and many more. They display absolutely beautiful workmanship.

The ovals represent native flowers and the landscapes are scene of local landmarks. Each was painted by a different local artist.

Pick Your Carousel Animal Carefully

Getting on was fairly easy. Getting off was another story.

When the ride ended I tried to dismount as you would a horse. Unfortunately, the black fly's wings stick out way beyond where a horse would end.

Unable to get my left leg over and with my right leg flapping in the wind, I decided the only thing to do was slide sideways and "gently" drop myself to the floor. Yup. I got stuck this way. People rushed to my aid and helped me off.

Unless you are a gymnast, think ahead to your dismount.

National Geographic's website recently (October 2009) named Saranac Lake as one of "America's Best Adventure Towns".

Beautiful Container Gardens in the Saranac Lake - Lake Placid area

Window-Box-Daily-Adirondack- Enterprise-
Window-Box-Daily-Adirondack- Enterprise- | Source

This a window box is in front of the Daily Adirondack Enterprise office, in Saranac Lake. It's the local newspaper.

Throughout Lake Placid and Saranac Lake you will see beautiful containers and pots of flowers. Maybe it's because the temperatures rarely reach heat wave heights, but the flowers are all so healthy and beautiful in this area late into autumn. Back home my summer plants are already spent by fall.

Check out the website of Historic Saranac Lake for great information and photos of Saranac Lake.

Check out information on self guided walking tours of the historic buildings in town.

Saranac Lake Train Station Interior

Saranac Lake Train Station Interior
Saranac Lake Train Station Interior

Saranac Lake holds a Winter Carnival complete with ice palace and parade.

Adirondack Scenic Railroad - Runs Between Saranac Lake And Lake Placid A Few Times A Day

Adirondack-Scenic-Railroad | Source

The Adirondack Scenic Railroad is manned by mostly railroad loving volunteers. Each of the 5 cars is different.

The train takes an approximately 45 minute ride each way with a 45 minute layover in either Lake Placid or Saranac Lake. The scenery along the way is beautiful. The train winds through beautiful pond, marshlands and forests and if lucky, you will see wildlife and birds.

We took the train from the Lake Placid station which is a small railroad museum to Saranac Lake. We had just enough time in Saranac Lake to grab a quick sandwich and ride the carousel. Then, back to Lake Placid.

The train does have a little snack bar and the day we were there, there was a clown for the kids.

Adirondack Scenic Railroad -- Lake Placid / Saranac Lake

Get and idea of the ride between the two towns by watching the videos.

For railroad buffs, watch the conductors using old time hand signals to signal the engineer during the coupling of the cars.

Taken through the window of Adirondack Railroad Train

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Standing High Above Lake Placid Are the 1980 Winter Olympic Ski Jumps - The ski jumps may be seen for miles

Lake-Placid-Ski-Jump | Source

Are you an avid skier? A thrill seeker?

Above is a picture of the 1980 Olympic Ski Jump. It looks verrrry high to me.

Interesting Fact

After hosting the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, the Lake Placid Club was in a whole lot of debt.

The federal government stepped in to help. But as soon as the Olympics were over, the Olympic Village dormitories where the athletes stayed, were converted to a medium security federal prison.

The Adirondack Correctional Facility at Ray Brook, is located in Ray Brook a town half way between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.

Lake Placid Links - Plan Your Adirondack Vacation.

The town of Lake Placid has a lot of upscale clothing shops --mostly winter sports related.

In town there are numerous restaurants, gift and antique shops.

If you are in the market for rustic furniture or accessories, this is the area to shop.

You will find items make of birch and carved animal lamps.

Carved bears, moose and squirrels.

There are items made from deer antlers.

Where are we in New York? - A look at a New York State Map

A cute little town:
Saranac Lake, New York

get directions

A larger town than Saranac Lake:
Lake Placid, New York

get directions

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Ellen Gregory


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