During my most recent trip to Lake Placid, NY I finally made it to the top of Whiteface Mountain. My reaction? Awestruck. Had I known how absolutely breathtaking this half-day trip would be, I would have done it years ago.

Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway is just minutes from the town of Lake Placid and winds its way around and up Whiteface Mountain. We started the trip at the base of Whiteface and took a winding drive up the side of the mountain, stopping at lookout points to view the seemingly miniature Lake Placid and even smaller Mirror Lake. The views are incredible, even if you catch a foggy day as we did.

Continuing up the mountain, we wound our way to the castle – the point where you leave your car and continue on foot. We had the option to climb the rest of the way or take the elevator. Needless to say we took the easy way out and rode the elevator up the center of the castle (note this is not for the claustrophobic). We walked through a low tunnel to the center of the mountain and then crammed into an ancient 5' by 5' elevator with 15 other people. Once we reached the top, however, the view made it all worthwhile. The observation deck allows for a fantastic 360° aerial lookout over the surrounding Adirondack landscape – absolutely breathtaking. The photo opportunity is incredible so prepare to take this year's Christmas card picture!

On the way down we decided to take the stairs. Little did we know that what they consider stairs is nothing more than a slippery slope of jagged rocks and stonewalls. Prepare for some real mountain climbing! Despite a few stumbles and falls, we made it down ok and were able to enjoy the view in the process.

The fantastic experience is definitely worth checking out on your next Adirondack weekend so don’t forget your hiking boots! Lake Placid is a fantastic getaway this time of year; crisp air, chilly nights, and bonfires are what bring this destination to life. If you do think about visiting, check out the BestWeekends Lake Placid destination guide for everything you need to know about your next trip.
Ellen Studer

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