It’s been six years and it never gets old. We’ve been spending Labor Day weekend in Lake Placid since 2004, after we first thru-hiked the Northville-Placid Trail. It’s always a family event, with both sets of parents joining us for the long weekend. This year we were lucky enough to spend almost a full week up there, and it still wasn’t enough time for us to do everything we wanted to do. Hiking, climbing, paddling, swimming, shopping, eating, drinking… It’s been six years and it feels like we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of everything the Adirondacks have to offer.
On the drive up to Placid, my dad and I detoured through Olmstedville, NY to pick up a Hornbeck canoe that I’ve had my eye on. Neither of us could recall ever exploring the towns east of Indian Lake and so it was fun to ride through North Creek and the Minerva area. Finally strapping that 10’5″ to the top of the roof was the highlight of my day though!
We arrived at Camp Point of View late Monday night and met up with Jess’ folks. A “camp” in name only, it was just as we remembered it from the year before. With gorgeous waterfront access to Lake Placid off of Brewster Peninsula and only a short ride to the Village, it is truly a great setting to enjoy the area.
Jess and my mom both had to work a few days to begin the week and wouldn’t arrive until late Tuesday night – so the dads spent their first vacation day golfing, and Jess’ mom and I tried frantically to complete a puzzle before help arrived.
Once the gang was all together on Wednesday we spent the day catching up and roaming around the Village a little. But by the time Thursday rolled around Jess and I were ready for some adventure! Eager to try out the new canoe, we settled on an exploration of Lake Placid itself and mapped out a 6 mile(ish) trip to Whiteface Landing, with a stop at Pulpit Rock and a loop around Moose and Hawk Islands. It was a gorgeous day, great for paddling and swimming, and both of us managed to get a little more sun than we should have. We finished the day with a nice meal overlooking Mirror Lake from the deck at Reflections.
Arms a bit sore from the Lake Placid paddle, and feeling a bit drained from the sun exposure, we figured Friday would be best spent giving our legs some action. A day hike up Giant Mountain seemed like the perfect plan!
Saturday was a nice break from physical activity as Jess and I drove an hour and a half to Blue Mountain Lake to check out the Rustic Furniture Fair at the Adirondack Museum. It was a lot of fun, with some truly outstanding craftsmanship on display. My personal favorite was a stunning chess set and table by Jeannie Ridgeway. We also had the pleasure of meeting a rustic artist from Michigan, Bill Perkins from Sleeping Bear Twig Furniture. Jess noticed that one of his display signs had the name of town in Michigan (Leland) that we recently visited, and it turned out he lives and works in an area very close to some of our favorite spots from our Michigan road trip.
Leaving the museum we discovered that the festivities were not limited to just the Museum grounds – in fact, a large portion of the action seemed to be happening down in the Village. Each side of Rt. 30 leading up from Blue Mountain Lake was packed with vendors selling rustic furniture and other Adirondack wares. It was quite the scene and we really wanted to check it out – but would have had to park a substantial distance away to do so. It was that packed! Well, we know for next time.
Sunday almost found Jess and I out on a golf course with our dads. Neither of us play and this would have been quite the sight… but luckily for us, and for the foresome that would have been stuck behind us, the course was too crowded with holiday weekend golfers. So instead of hitting the links, we decided on another day hike. This time up Cascade and Porter Mountains.
We capped the night, our last of this vacation, by heading out to the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery for some drinks and eats with my dad. This is one of the only places we go to where I actually hope there is a wait to be seated… nothing beats having some brews in the pub downstairs before a table opens up.
I think it was about the 3rd or 4th beer of the night when I decided that I would try to wake up early the next morning and catch a sunrise before we headed home. It was rough getting up – I’m not a morning person to begin with, let alone after a handful of 46’er Pale Ales – but this turned out to be one of those unforgettable Adirondack moments for me.
I paddled my canoe out onto the lake through the rising morning mist. The water was completely still… and as the sun began to light up the mountain horizon, a loon called out in the distance. I spent an hour out there, lazily floating around till day finally broke.
Monday morning meant that our week in Lake Placid was over. After a big breakfast and long goodbyes, we took one last spin around the Village and started our journey home – unable to shake the feeling that one week simply wasn’t enough time to spend here. There are so many things we want to see and do when we visit this area that we just never seem to fit it all in. I suppose that is really a testament to how much we love the Adirondacks and why we keep coming back.
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- Lake Placid (Then and Now: New York) – Amazon.com
- Adirondack Trails High Peaks Region (Forest Preserve, Vol. 1) – Amazon.com
- Adirondack Paddler’s Map – EMS