Skating on Mirror Lake

Skating, for me, has always been a challenge.

As a kid, I was daredevil enough to put on skates, go full speed on a rink and ram into other skaters because I had no clue how to stop!

Nowadays, this is more about avoiding to fall and breaking any part of my ageing body!

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On the Loop

That being said, I had always wanted to go skating on the lake, especially this formidable loop that the village prepares for the winter. I believe it’s the third winter people can enjoy skating on the loop, as before, The Parks Department only cleared a space for hockey and general skating near the town beach.

Well, it was rough and difficult (for me, as a beginner) but enjoyable, as we met families, kids and elders, all appreciating the views and the warm day on the lake.

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Christmas Lights

Nothing shines Christmas cheer on neighborhoods quite like holiday lights. But a leisurely drive can turn into a scavenger hunt for the biggest and brightest displays.

Yet, it’s difficult believing we are getting so close to Christmas, as temperatures remain in the 60’s, and last week’s snow melted away… but Christmas lights are everywhere in our small village.

It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year. Main Street was flooded with holiday spirit as hundreds flocked to the Holiday Village Stroll, I decided to walk the less-traveled path, the Christmas-lit one. Tonight, with some fall-like temps, was the perfect time to check out some spectacular homes. Take a peak at my favorites:

Happy Holidays!

Last day of Summer(?) on the Lake

It was actually during Fall Foliage season, but it really felt like summer. We’re experiencing warm autumn days (temperatures in the upper 70s with cool nights dipping to the mid-30s to low 40s) that start the vibrant color change.

Lake Placid offered, during the Flaming Leaves Festival, a weekend of blues, brews and barbecues at the Olympic Jumping Complex but we decided to celebrate on the lake instead. And it was really worth it.

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Getting new emotions

Late JunIMG_0050e, we met some experienced mountain bikers at the High Peaks Cyclery store in Lake Placid. A well-kept secret, mountain biking has developed in the Adirondack High Peaks region, following the efforts of Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA). BETA is a project of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council, which was founded in 1986 for the purpose of improving and promoting cross country skiing in the Tri-Lakes Area.

BETA works to develop, maintain and advocate for a diverse, sustainable and interconnected multi-use trail system suitable for mountain bikes in our region. They promote the sport of mountain biking as a healthy and positive activity that compliments the outdoor culture of the Adirondack Park while providing diverse economic benefits for local communities.

Between Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Wilmington, there are now many places where to practice, either as a beginner or as an experienced rider. For more, visit here.IMG_0051

Since we are only beginners, our High Peaks Cyclery contacts recommended we start around the Lake Placid Golf Course. With everything from rolling backcountry dirt roads to singletrack to downhill-specific trails, we found everything we wanted, including the connection to the Jack Rabbit trail, which also connects to another mountain-bike trail, just developed at Craig’s Wood Golf course.

The mountain biking culture in Lake Placid and the surrounding area is growing exponentially each year. Make the trip to see it for yourself!

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Nice Evening on the Lake

What can be better than spending a summer evening in a boat on Lake Placid, among friends sharing great cheese and wine?

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Stunning clear view of Whiteface, fantastic sunset and orange sky above the McKenzie range… Who’s got it better than us? Nooobody!

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The real foodie needs to stop at Liquids and Solids

While the name may suggest that Liquids & Solids has basic offerings, the thirsty or hungry person is in for anything but basic; it’s upscale food and drink in a laid-back atmosphere.

19937-0Last Saturday night, the town was crawling with out-of-towners. It was a little quieter at L&S, just off the beaten path. Inside, a very compelling bar almost snagged us, but we went directly to one of the high-tops in the center of the long room.

We began with a round of drinks from the “liquids” page and the separate beer menu. Even though we didn’t taste the specialty drinks, everybody knows they are most intriguing.

Now for the solids. The eclectic menu of many tantalizing small and large plate dishes is perfect for trying many things, and especially for sharing. You can pick from Italian-style white bean and kale soup, grits, crispy polenta, Caesar salad, beet and orange salad and fried Brussels sprouts.

We tried the Brussels sprouts, one of the unexpected delights of the menu, quartered, flash-fried until the outer leaves were slightly crispy, tossed with olive oil and capers. There was little or no bitterness associated with sprouts.

To complete our meal, we moved to the “big” plates (rabbit crepinette with lentils, beef heart ragout with gnocchi, meat loaf). Tasty, surprising (where else can you find a rabbit-based meal in the USA?), we only regretted we could not pick more from the various options, from burgers and fries to scrapple, oxtail, beef hearts, duck confit, and oysters.

Desserts (“Solids-Sweets”) followed the over-the-top adventurous theme. Expresso crème brulee was as rich and decadent as it sounds. Dinner for three cost $120, everything included (drinks and tip).

Much credit is due to chef/owner Tim Loomis and his business partner, Keegan Konkoski, the competent and adventuresome mixologist. These two very talented risk-takers have a restaurant that would send any foodie into a frenetic frenzy. It got them referenced in this piece from the NY Times.

Starting the other 54

Lake Placid, home of the Olympics and of the High Peaks! We enjoy every minute we spend here; there are so many activities for the outdoor enthusiast.

After hiking most of the High Peaks, we’ve tried some other challenges (see previous post on the Saranac Lake 6ers). We’re not Adirondack 46ers yet (too many peaks and not enough time) but we’ve decided to mix our long hikes with shorter and less-known ones.

We’ve already climbed Noonmark, Hurricane, Round, and yesterday we added Moose on our list.

Moose is found north-east of McKenzie Mountain (which we had climbed two weekends ago) just outside of Lake Placid. The Shore Owners Association (SOA) maintains a series of trails in the area, some leading to Moose and McKenzie. Starting at the docks of the Whiteface Inn, you follow the lake. The trail goes around majestic private properties and then enters the woods.

The trail is very moderate to start with, with only a few steep pitches here and there. Then it turns into an area that was totally devastated by a winter storm back in the 90’s. Trees are down, most of them across the trail. Your hike transforms into a “steeple-chase”, each tree an obstacle to your progress.

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We finally made it to the last climb, a steep (but short) one before enjoying many views back toward Lake Placid and the High Peaks. Another mountain worth the visit!