Lake Placid: Beyond the Horse Show

A view of the show grounds from the Olympic jumping complex. Photo by Vyla Carter


For two weeks out of the summer the town of Lake Placid, known for its winter sports, is taken over by the equestrian community. Equestrians flock to the Lake Placid Horse Show grounds for the two weeks of hunter-jumper showing. The unique show gives exhibitors and spectators the feel of an old-timey horse show. Tack vendors and several food options are scattered across the show grounds for activities to do during down time at the show. The showing starts in the morning and spans all the way into the early evening hours, with pony classes to top level jumper events to watch throughout the week. For riding purposes there are schooling rings throughout the show grounds and even a trail that crosses a river.

Whiteface Mountain backdrops the show grounds. Photo by Vyla Carter

There is so much to do on the show grounds, but the beauty and fun that surrounds the show is not to be missed. There is something for everyone and several must-do activities when traveling to this destination near wilderness areas of the Adirondack mountains in New York state. Do not miss out on these pursuits that surround the equestrian event, all just minutes away from the horse show:

Tour the Olympic Sites: Lake Placid has played host to not one, but two Winter Olympic games and even in the heat of the summer there are ways to experience the storied history of the area. The best way to get the full Olympic experience is by purchasing the Olympic sites passport. The passport gives access to multiple areas in the in the Olympic village.

  • One of the destinations that can be found right across the street from the horse show venue is the Olympic Jumping Complex. There, a ski lift and elevator ride take ticket holders to the top of the 120 meter ski jump that was used in the Olympic games. The top provides wonderful views of the surrounding area and even the horse show grounds right below.
  • Another must-do Olympic passport activity is taking a gondola ride up Little Whiteface mountain. Find breathtaking views from various vantage points and even see the speck of the horse show from there.
Lake Placid from Little Whiteface Peak. Photo by Vyla Carter

The passport also includes access to the Olympic Museum, Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway and the Olympic Sports Complex. Along with the sites, there are activities that the passport includes discounts to. One of the must-do activities is taking a bobsled ride. The bobsled ride is a thrilling experience where riders zoom down the winding track that was used in the Winter Olympic games.

Take a Stroll Around Downtown Lake Placid: Cute little boutiques and local eateries line the main strip of Lake Placid. The downtown area is the perfect spot to stroll around and try out some of the local eateries. Some of the favorite eateries are Big Mountain Deli and Creperie, a dream come true for sandwich and crepe lovers alike, or stop by Soulshine Bagel for the special breakfast of a rainbow bagel with one of their unique cream cheese flavors. For anyone with a sweet tooth there are several candy stores and ice cream parlors and for the shopper, stores that sell Lake Placid merchandise and other cute trinkets. Also do not miss the famous miracle on ice arena located on the outskirts of the main strip.

Kayaking on Mirror Lake. Photo by Vyla Carter

Spend a Day on the Lake: The area has two large lakes, Mirror Lake and of course Lake Placid. Mirror Lake is located on the downtown strip and is lined with beautiful views and local hotels. This Lake is the perfect spot to take a kayak or paddle board for a ride, as motor boats are not allowed on this body of water. There are also several beaches to relax on or launch off for a swim.

Lake Placid is the larger of the two lakes and allows more of a variety of water activities. With an island in the middle and beautiful 360 views Lake Placid is a great spot for a boat ride or even water skiing and tubing. For the adventurer, there are even spots to go cliff diving, along with several great swimming spots.

Rushing River. Photo by Vyla Carter

Take a Hike: With the beautiful nature that surrounds the town comes plenty of opportunities to hike and explore the outdoors. An easier walk can be found on the trail that loops around Mirror Lake. All levels of hiking are available, find a trail that goes through the Adirondack mountains or just a trail right off the road that provides beautiful scenes of nature.