Lake Placid & Adirondacks Activities Guide

Spring Edition

People on a metal bridge at the Wild Center, High Peaks Resort

With 6-million acres of wilderness, the Adirondack Mountains hold unlimited potential for adventure and with so many possibilities it can be hard to decide on all the things to do this spring. To help you plan your experience we asked Ed Kanze, Naturalist and Adirondack Guide, what's special about spring in the Adirondacks. To leverage Ed's advice, see our list of suggestions below for each month this spring. Enjoy your fun in the Lake Placid region and don't forget to stop by and see us downtown.


Man and woman on skis overlooking Whiteface Mountain.
Photo © Whiteface Mountain



Mountains in Renewal

March is mercurial. Thermometers surge up, down, and all around. This inconstancy is part of the month's unique, unpredictable appeal. Never a dull moment. It's fun to get out in the woods in March and tune into the early signs of spring. Rivers thaw. This is a great time of year to watch for beavers, muskrats, mink, and otters. Winter birds start disappearing, and summer birds such as red-winged blackbirds and grackles begin to return. It's fun to learn bird songs and know which birds are already bursting with passion and courting their mates.

Resort Suggestions

  • For March hikes in the forest and by river trails, consider hiring a licensed guide for added security and peace of mind. Not only are they monitoring the state of the wilderness on a daily basis but they can also help you find the animals coming out of their winter homes.
  • The sights, sounds, smells, and textures of the forest are all yours when you engage in sensory snowshoeing with Adirondack Riverwalking & Forest Bathing. Your licensed guides, Helene and Suzanne are certified with the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides, specially trained to help you connect with nature and develop ways to incorporate it into your daily life.


Spring Skiing Perfection

Depending on temperatures, skiing and snowshoeing conditions typically remain good. On an ideal day, you can enjoy traversing the white stuff in shirtsleeves. 

Resort Suggestions

  • When March melting temperatures or warming events weaken other resorts' snowpacks, ski places with higher elevations and more northern latitudes can keep snow cooler. With 35,000 feet of new pipe, 160 high-efficiency snow guns, and 245 new hydrants, Whiteface Mountain is perfect for getting your ski fix late into the season. For the feeling of having the mountain to yourself, book midweek and experience peace and quiet like you never have before.
  • If you want to get outside and play in the snow, but don't want to spend all day at the mountain we have the perfect solution for you! When you stay at High Peaks Resort admission to the groomed trails at Whiteface Club & Resort Nordic Center is included with your rate. GO for an hour or go all day!


Maple Celebrations and Indulgences

Maple sap flows in sugar maples, and the annual Adirondack maple sugar harvest is literally in full steam. A naturalist can teach you how to snip off the end of a twig and taste the sap straight from the tree. Visit a sugarhouse or enjoy local syrup with your breakfast. Adirondack chefs create marvels with the sweet stuff.

Resort Suggestions

  • Get ready for a sweet and unforgettable experience this March! New York State is proud to host its annual Maple Weekends, where you can indulge in the rich and delicious flavors of pure maple syrup. Discover the process of how sap is collected from maple trees and turned into syrup at local sugarhouses. Meet the makers and sample their signature blends while taking in the breathtaking views of the countryside. Don't miss out on this delicious tradition, mark your calendars for Maple Weekend in New York State on the weekends of March 18-19 and March 25-26.
  • Can't be here for Maple Weekends this March but still want to check out the process? The Uihlein Maple Research Forest offers tours throughout the year, but late February to late April is the best time to see how they make maple syrup and conduct related research.


Deep seated couches and copper bowls at the Adirondack Foot Sanctuary.
Photo © Adirondack Foot Sanctuary



Relaxation & Restoration

By April, winter is over (despite the occasional blizzard!), spring is in full swing, and there's no turning back. A mix of cold and warm days make the weather unpredictable and exciting.

Resort Suggestions

  • If you are the kind of person that needs a reason to indulge in a little "you time" consider this your sign. Sleep in. Take a leisurely walk around the lake. Read that book or three that you've been meaning to. At High Peaks Resort, your guest room extends past your door with cozy reading nooks throughout the lobby.
  • Revisit family game night. With lots of surfaces to spread out and lots of seating to get comfy, Lake House is the perfect spot to have game night.
  • Pamper yourself and your loved one. The Spa & Salon at High Peaks Resort is the perfect spot to schedule a spa day full of facials, nails, and hair with your besties while the Adirondack Foot Sanctuary is a deeply indulgent experience focused on giving you a whole new spring in your step.


Return of Adirondack Wildlife

Most ponds and lakes ice-out sometime during the month, although some hold out until May. Instantly upon ice-out, uncommonly beautiful common loons return to their favorite Adirondack lakes. Birds, birds, birds: birds that remained through the winter are singing their hearts out, and birds from the South are arriving every day. Among the newcomers this month are yellow-bellied sapsuckers, eastern phoebes, blue-headed vireos, and early warblers such as the yellow-rumped, the pine, and the palm.

Painted turtles rise out of cold water to sunbathe on logs. Amphibians appear in astounding number: hordes of big, yellow-and-black spotted salamanders migrate at night to breeding ponds; and wherever there's water, one can usually hear the ancient love-choruses of (depending on habitat) wood frogs, spring peepers, leopard frogs, pickerel frogs, green frogs, and American toads.

Resort Suggestions

  • Did you know there are over 60-million birdwatchers in the US alone? That is more than basketball, baseball, and football players combined. Our Marketing Manager found out why the sport so so popular when she joined Ed Kanze for a morning of birdwatching at Bloomingdale Bog; it's easy to try, easy to do, and a great way to get outside and engage with every generation of your family.
  • While the higher elevations are still a little icy and snowy, this is a great time of year to try lower elevation hikes which dry out from the spring thaw a little sooner than higher elevations. We've got a list of some of our favorite spring hikes that are great for fresh air at lower elevations.


Trees and Shrubs Wake Up

Early in the month, trees and shrubs begin blooming in earnest. Among them are red maple (a naturalist can teach you how to distinguish male trees from female by color, even at 65 mph on the Northway), American elm, quaking aspen, bigtooth aspen, assorted willows, shadbush, and beaked hazelnut. Our broad-leaved trees are just big wildflowers. Late in the month, in low damp places, trout lily blooms. This flower's dappled blue-green leaves are as pretty as its yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers.

Resort Suggestions

  • If you're interested in learning more about the Adirondacks, hiring a professional guide is well worth the investment! Adirondack Guides like Ed Kanze are a time-honored Adirondack tradition, and their knowledge and expertise provide in-the-moment insight tailored to your specific adventure.


Man kayaking down Saranac River on a sunny day with trees in bloom.



Adirondack Breath of Life

For nature lovers, May represents perhaps the most exciting month of the year. Aside from a little mud, hiking conditions become ideal---rarely too warm and only occasionally cold. Inhale the mountain air and literally smell nature coming alive. As the last snows melt, rivers flow free again, lakes slowly warm, and sunshine heats the soil, the entire landscape bursts with life. Wildflowers start popping up everywhere: trout lily, goldthread, painted trillium, purple trillium, Clintonia lily, and pink ladyslipper orchids provide stunning beauty and interest.

Resort Suggestions

  • Gamify your Adirondack adventure by turning it into a wildflower scavenger hunt. You can start with a list of defined flowers to look for or set a goal of snapping photos of five different wildflowers and learning about your finds when you get home. Adirondacks Forever Wild is a fantastic online resource on the flora and fauna of the Adirondacks.
  • We're all responsible for protecting the Adirondack Mountains for generations to come. Some wildflowers like the ladyslipper orchid have a protected species classification, but removing or displacing rocks, tree bark, and other environmental elements can have an unintended impact on the forest as a whole. A wildflower won't last a lifetime, but a photo will!


Wildlife Observation Opportunities Abound

Every morning, new birds singing songs not heard since the previous summer fill forests and lakeshores with music and color. New arrivals include red-eyed vireos, Baltimore orioles, scarlet tanagers, Blackburnian warblers, yellow warblers, chestnut-sided warblers, American redstarts, and ruby-throated hummingbirds. American woodcock perform dramatic song-and-dance routines and aerial acrobatics on and over quiet meadows. Frog choruses continue. Listen for the knock-knock of the mink frog.

Resort Suggestions

  • Where can you canoe through an oxbow, walk among the tree canopy, see river otters at play, and learn about the natural history of the Adirondacks in both indoor and outdoor exhibits? Tupper Lake's Wild Center is an incredible 115-acre campus of adventure that is perfect for animal viewing and forest exploration.


Header Image © Wild Center

Paint, Sip, and Stay

Escape to the natural beauty of the Adirondack Mountains and indulge in a unique and creative experience with a travel package at High Peaks Resort that includes admission for two to the new paint-and-sip venue, Peaks Paintbar, and a beautiful guest room with breathtaking views.

A Man golfing at Whiteface Club & Resort near The Lake House

Golf in the Adirondacks

Enjoy a relaxing getaway at High Peaks Resort and play a round of golf at the prestigious Whiteface Club & Resort, with 18 holes and a cart rental included in your package.

Season opens this May!