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The 5 Best Viewpoints for Adirondack Fall Foliage

Published: 08/01/2020

Every year, the Adirondacks put on a spectacular show of color. Fall transforms the mountains and forests into a masterpiece of fiery reds, yellows, and oranges. Despite the strangeness of the past few months, the changing leaves of fall are a reliable constant. Visitors return year after year to enjoy the fall foliage and the warm, inviting atmosphere the season brings to the region. Staying in Lake Placid is like having VIP access to the show. Located at center stage, the village provides easy access to some of the best seats in the house! Try these stunning viewpoints to enjoy Adirondack fall foliage at its finest.

Remember to practice safe social distancing and to wear or carry your mask at all times when venturing into public or outdoor spaces. 

Best Viewpoints for Adirondack Fall Foliage

1. Mountain Summits

The Adirondacks are home to some of the most ruggedly picturesque mountains in the northeast, and come fall they are bathed in brilliant color. To get a new perspective on the landscape, climb a Saranac 6er or a Lake Placid 9er! These smaller mountains surrounding nearby Saranac Lake and Lake Placid are beginner-friendly hikes, well-marked and maintained, and lead to stunning scenery. Hike St. Regis Mountain and you can scale a fire tower at the top for even better views, or take the family up Cobble Hill for a bird's eye view of Lake Placid. Not only is fall hiking a fun way to get out and explore the region, but you'll also enjoy views that are far more expansive than you could get anywhere else.

2. Boats

Fall mornings on the water are beyond compare. The pristine water, smooth as glass, reflects the bright colors of the leaves as you float along, giving you twice the show. Mountains rise up around you on all sides, enclosing you in a colorful blanket of fall. The haunting call of a loon signals nature's "good morning." As cool night temperatures warm into comfortable fall days, fog rolls along the water, giving everything a touch of mystery and calm. High Peaks Resort offers complimentary kayaks, rowboats, stand up paddleboards and paddleboats to all guests so you can get out on Mirror Lake to enjoy these stunning views during your stay. All of our equipment is cleaned and sanitized between uses to ensure the health and safety of our guests. Or, stay in the Waterfront Collection rooms and you can walk right out your door and onto the shoreline in the morning for a similar experience.

3. Zip Lines

Add a little adventure to your fall foliage viewing! Just outside of Lake Placid is Experience ADK Outdoors, Lake Placid's premier zip-lining destination. Get up close to the color as you fly through the treetops on their six zip lines. As you speed by, the colors will blur together, coming back into focus as you land atop the towering platforms between lines. It's an adrenaline-filled way to enjoy the foliage. In addition to providing a unique viewpoint, it will also leave you with lasting Adirondack memories. Remember to bring your mask!

4. Scenic Drives

The ultimate social distancing activity! Take to the open road and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of your car. Wind between mountains and along rivers. Keep an eye out for active wildlife and make stops along the way at local boutiques and eateries. Fall is more than just foliage – it's a flavor and a feeling too! Throw on a flannel so you can still roll the windows down and enjoy the cool, crisp smell of the fresh mountain air. Grab a cider donut or some maple candy to snack on as you drive. Wherever the road ends up taking you, the journey will be as special as the destination. If you're staying in Lake Placid, consider driving past Whiteface Mountain. Or, head east on Route 73 for stunning views of the High Peaks, the Cascades, and panoramic views of the Great Range.

5. Poolside

By far the most relaxing way to enjoy the fall foliage, High Peaks Resort's outdoor pool allows you to enjoy a soak and the scenery at the same time! Fall in the Adirondacks still has hot days, and a splash in the pool is a great way to feel refreshed. At night or early in the morning, when the air is crisp and cool, the pool may actually be warmer than the air, giving you the soothing feeling of being in a giant bath. Or, if the kids are the only ones interested in getting wet, curl up under a blanket on the pool deck with a seasonal cocktail and gaze off into the colorful distance. It's the best of both worlds.

Every season has something wonderful to offer in the Adirondacks, but fall, with its stunning colors, holds a special place in the hearts of many. Experience some of the best fall foliage views in New York State from these unique viewpoints. When it's time to head home, take the scenic route through Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, and Indian Lake for even more incredible colors. If you're not sure where to go, High Peaks Resort's friendly, professional staff will be happy to point you in the right direction.

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