This village has a century-long history of reviving spirits with mountain views and crystal lakes.
Nestled in the Adirondacks, this New York village blends natural beauty and outdoor adventure for memorable camping. The mountain air and cool summers made Lake Placid a premier vacation destination during the Gilded Age. But you don't need a big budget to pitch a tent, cast a fishing line or launch a canoe into the tranquil waters.
The town itself is really between two lakes: Lake Placid and Lake Mirror. The latter is named for its clear waters, offering stunning views from a kayak or canoe. Not far from downtown is the public beach. The sandy shore is excellent for swimming, with a dock and diving platforms.
Lake Placid has hosted two winter Olympics. Today, the former facilities are open to the public. You can bobsled with a pro driver down the Olympic track, or take in the view from the 120-meter tall ski jump.
Explore the Brewster Peninsula nature trails while you're in town. The easy loops pass through quiet pine groves and hug the southern shore of Lake Placid.
Experienced hikers should consider pitching a tent at Meadowbrook campground. About 4 miles from town, the grounds are right next to the Scarface trailhead and close to the Haystack Mountain trail.
If you prefer to camp closer to town, check out the private campgrounds and camping cabins. These are also your best bets for creature comforts like Wi-Fi, as well as electrical hook-ups for RVs.
First-rate trout fishing can be found on the West Branch Ausable River. Get an early morning start by spending the night at the Wilmington Notch campground. Several tent sites are a stone's throw from the river, and the facilities cover basics like hot showers. The grounds are close to Veterans' Memorial Highway, a scenic drive leading to the top of Whiteface Mountain.
Saranac Lake is about 10 miles west, but well worth the trip for kayakers. There are four lakes here connected by locks, making it ideal for all-day exploring in small craft. The Saranac Lake Islands campground puts you right on the water. Most of the sites are primitive but include several tiny islands that you can call your own for the night.