August 11 2009 by Jason Fogelson
Riding through New York State can bring a surprise at every turn. If those turns bring you to the Lake Placid area, you're in luck. You've just discovered a little slice of motorcycling heaven.
The town of Lake Placid lives along the shores of Mirror Lake and Lake Placid, two adjacent bodies of water in Northeastern New York State. It's a five or six hour ride from Manhattan to the South, about two hours from Montreal to the North and about an hour from Burlington, Vermont to the east. That's if you're in a hurry to get to Lake Placid.
Do yourself a favor, though - take your time getting there instead. The side routes and smaller roads are among the most scenic you'll ever ride. Lake Placid is in the highest elevations of the Adirondack Mountain Range, and some very challenging curvy roads run through its foothills. Charming small towns like Keene, Franklin Falls and Saranac are all nearby, just waiting to be explored. Summertime and early Fall are great times to ride your motorcycle throughout the Lake Placid region. Winter and Spring are given over to other forms of transportation - at this elevation and latitude, the riding season is short, but sweet.
Lake Placid will always be remembered as the site of the 1980 Winter Olympics, and many of the Olympic venues still stand today. The Herb Brooks Arena, an indoor winter sports stadium, was home to the "Miracle On Ice," where the U.S. Men's Hockey Team defeated the Soviet squad. The outdoor track where Eric Heiden won his five speed skating gold medals is just up the road. The Olympic Sports Complex is just south of town, and is home to the bobsled, luge and ski jumping courses and training centers. During the summer months, you can ride a specially-prepared wheeled four-man bobsled down the actual Olympic course from 1980. It's a thrill ride that competes with any rollercoaster ride I've ever taken.
When you're ready to settle in, the Best Western Adirondack Inn is a Rider Friendly property right on Main Street in Lake Placid, walking distance from the heart of town, great shopping and fine dining. The Inn overlooks Mirror Lake, and has beautiful views from its rooms and decks.
So, ride on in to Lake Placid. Or visit during the Winter, and discover great skiing on Whiteface Mountain. I'll stick to the summer sports - those I can accomplish with two wheels and an engine.