Lake Placid is a village in the Adirondack Mountains in Essex County, New York, United States. As of the 2000 census, the village had a population of 2,638.The Village of Lake Placid is near the center of the Town of North Elba, 52 miles (84 km) southwest of Plattsburgh. Lake Placid, along with nearby Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, comprise what is known as the Tri-Lakes region. Lake Placid hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.
Lake Placid is best known as the two-time site of the Winter Olympics. Lake Placid first hosted in 1932 and they hosted the event again 48 years later in 1980. In the United States, the village is especially remembered as the site of the 1980 USA–USSR hockey game, the so-called "Miracle on Ice", when a group of American college students and amateurs upset the heavily favored Soviet national ice hockey team 4–3 and two days later won the gold medal. Another highpoint during the Games was speed-skater Eric Heiden's performance, winning five gold medals.
During the 1932 games, the trails outside of the city served for the cross-country skiing events and the cross-country skiing part of the Nordic combined event. Lake Placid, St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Innsbruck, Austria are the only sites to have twice hosted the Winter Olympic Games. Los Angeles is comparable as a city which hosted the Summer Olympic Games twice.
Lake Placid is well known among winter-sports enthusiasts for its skiing, both Alpine and Nordic. Whiteface Mountain (4,867 ft/1,483 m), in nearby Wilmington about 13 miles (21 km) from Lake Placid, offers skiing, hiking, gondola rides, and mountain biking, and is the only one of the High Peaks that can be reached via an auto road. The area has one of only sixteen bobsled runs in the western hemisphere, and is one of the few places in the contiguous United States which offers dogsled and sleigh rides.In 2010, U.S. News & World Report rated Lake Placid as one of the "6 Forgotten Vacation Spots" in North America.Many people use Lake Placid as a base from which to climb the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondack Mountains; those who complete these climbs may join the Adirondack 46ers.
Lake Placid built its first golf course in 1898, one of the first in the United States, and has more golf courses than any other region in the Adirondacks. Many of its courses were designed by well-known golf course architects, such as John Van Kleek, Seymour Dunn, Alexander H. Findlay, and Alister MacKenzie. The geographic features of the Adirondacks were considered reminiscent of the Scottish landscape in which the game was invented, and thus a fitting canvas for original play, or "mountain golf."Lake Placid is near the West Branch of the Ausable River, a well-known stretch of water for fly fishing. More than six miles (10 km) of the West Branch is year-round catch-and-release, artificial-lures-only water.
Lake Placid is served by nearby Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake, 16 miles (26 km) from the village. Lake Placid Airport, two miles south of the village, does not offer scheduled flights.Other relatively nearby airports include Albany International Airport, Burlington International Airport and the airport in Plattsburgh. Lake Placid is also served by an Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach connection through Westport via limousine service. Adirondack Trailways stops there as well.
Lake Placid is not located on any interstate highway. It can be reached from Interstate 87 to the east via New York State Route 73, New York State Route 86, and New York State Route 9N. County Roads 21, 31 and 35 also serve the community.Lake Placid is also the Northern Terminus of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad over former New York Central and Delaware & Hudson Trackage. There are currently plans to restore service to Utica, New York.
Regular Sporting Events:
- Since 1999 it has been a site for the annual Ironman Triathlon, the second oldest Ironman in North America and one of only eight official Ironman Triathlons to be held in the continental U.S.
- ESPN's Great Outdoor Games were inaugurated here in July 2000; they were held in Lake Placid again the following year, but moved to Madison, Wisconsin, in 2002 and were eventually discontinued.
- The Lake Placid and I Love New York Horse Shows have been held at the North Elba Showgrounds for the past 41 years.
- Multiple IWPA (International Weight Pull Association) snow Weight pulling events are held at the North Elba showgrounds yearly