Lake Placid & Adirondacks Activities Guide

Summer Edition

A couple hikes in the Adirondack Mountains near 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.

Boardwalk over Heron Marsh.

June

Adirondack Woods & Waters

For a variety of interests, June represents the best time to walk in the Adirondack woods. Waterfalls and streams thunder down mountainsides with great enthusiasm, birds sing torch songs, wildflowers appear everywhere you look, and even popular places are rarely crowded. Opportunities for fishing, photography, hiking, and boating are outstanding.

Resort Suggestions

  • You can't talk about Adirondack waterfalls without talking about High Falls Gorge. Brace yourself for an exhilarating journey through ancient granite cliffs, where crystal-clear waters flow relentlessly, carving their way through the majestic Adirondack landscape. Traversing the bridges, cliff-side walkways, and viewing platforms, at High Falls Gorge you experience the AuSable River close enough to feel the mist on your face. The half-mile waterfall walk is a breathtaking walk perfect morning or afternoon attraction for every member of your family, but you can explore the steep nature trail as well and enjoy the gorge grounds all day.
  • Embark on a transformative journey of regeneration this June at the Paul Smiths VIC. Step into a realm where nature's healing powers converge, revitalizing your mind, body, and spirit. Breathe in the crisp, rejuvenating air as you explore the serene waters and lush wetlands, where time slows down and serenity reigns. Engage with the restorative energy of the natural world, immersing yourself in the tranquil symphony of flowing streams, vibrant flora, and diverse wildlife. Experience the profound connection that arises when you surrender to the gentle embrace of nature's healing embrace. Let the Paul Smiths VIC be your gateway to renewal and discover the transformative magic that awaits.

Birds & Butterflies

June is a joyous month. It brings birds, butterflies, and the full greening of our magnificent Adirondack northern hardwood forests. The weather tends to be ideal much of the time, with warm days and cool nights. Wildflowers remain abundant, including the pink ladyslipper and Clintonia lily. By day and by night, the haunting calls of loons ring out on our lakes. Songbird choruses at dawn take the listener's breath away with their wild and timeless beauty. A stroll at dusk will likely bring the soft, piccolo-like notes of a hermit thrush.

Resort Suggestions

  • Let the shimmering waters of the lake reflect the breathtaking beauty that surrounds you, as you stroll along the serene path encircling the Mirror Lake shoreline. Through residential, recreational, and commercial areas, the 3-mile Mirror Lake loop is the perfect way to explore downtown. Perhaps you'll hear the distinct call of the Common Loon, which makes its summer home in the Adirondacks and raises its young on Mirror Lake. Whether you seek solitude for quiet contemplation or seek a refreshing outdoor activity with loved ones, this scenic walk promises a rejuvenating experience that will leave you with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for nature's wonders.
  • We've often mentioned this before, but with over 60 million birdwatchers in the US alone, it bears repeating! Our Marketing Manager found out why the sport so so popular when she joined Ed Kanze for a morning of birdwatching at Bloomingdale Bog. If you're new to the sport, consider the invaluable assistance of an Adirondack Guide who will unveil the best-kept secrets of this pristine habitat. With their expert guidance, you'll discover hidden vantage points and gain insights into the unique bird species that call this place home. From the melodious calls of warblers to the majestic flights of raptors, every moment will be filled with awe-inspiring encounters. So, grab your binoculars and let the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains and their feathered inhabitants captivate your senses.

Barn owl.

July

Birds of Song & Prey

Birdsong continues to turn the great Adirondack forest into a concert hall. To enjoy the performance, there's no need to identify the performers. All one needs is a functioning set of ears, an alarm clock, and a love of nature. Just rise early or wander outdoors before dusk. Bird diversity in the woods reaches its peak, although some migrants will begin to leave by month's end. On water, watch for big hawks called ospreys. They circle overhead on wings that look slightly crooked and dive for fish. If you're really lucky, you might even spy a bald eagle.

Resort Suggestions

  • Join wildlife educator and rehabilitator Mark Manske every Saturday, June 24 through September 2, for a weekly demonstration on birds of prey found in the Adirondacks. Adirondack Raptors is a privately held company that monitors and researches raptor populations in the Adirondacks. Its goal is to promote a healthy awareness of wildlife in the community by utilizing raptors as a teaching tool. Mark has been studying raptors since 1984 and has taught at St. Lawrence Central High School and Paul Smiths College. He also contributes to Embark, a bimonthly publication produced by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

 

Jump In! The Water is Just Fine

This month and its successor are the most congenial of the year for boating, swimming, fishing, and plain old walking in the woods. If you're going to jump in the water and enjoy some old-fashioned lake or pond swimming, this is the time.

Resort Suggestions

  • When you stay at High Peaks Resort you have access to two outdoor pools and our fleet of watercraft including stand-up paddleboards, pedal boats, and kayaks. Perfect for enjoying Mirror Lake and staying cool on a summer day! 
  • Get ready for an adrenaline-pumping adventure as you experience the thrill of whitewater rafting in the majestic Hudson River Gorge with Adirondack Rafting Company. Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Adirondack Mountains, this unforgettable journey will take you through exhilarating rapids, pristine wilderness, and awe-inspiring scenery. Led by experienced guides, you'll navigate the roaring waters, conquering rapids while immersing yourself in the raw power of nature. Whether you're a seasoned rafter or a first-time adventurer, Adirondack Rafting Company ensures a safe and exhilarating experience for all. So gather your friends, unleash your adventurous spirit, and create memories that will last a lifetime as you embark on a whitewater rafting expedition through the stunning Hudson River Gorge.

Adirondacks in Bloom

Whitetail deer look gorgeous in their cinnamon-colored summer coats. If you care to look (you may not care), late July brings the first touches of fall color. Leaves of crimson and ruby start making their appearance on red maples and hobblebush. Make the acquaintance of Adirondack trees, wildflowers, birds, and more, hold a frog or salamander in your hand and meet such fascinating novelties of the forest as the Indian pipe, a wildflower that looks like a fungus. Indian pipe's leaves, stems, and flowers lack chlorophyll and are as white as snow. The plant is parasitic on fungi in the soil.

Resort Suggestions

  • Covering more land than all of the continental United States National Parks combined, the Adirondack Parks offer unlimited possibilities for adventure. But where to begin and in what direction should you go? Do you want a guided hike up one of the 46 High Peaks and which hike is right for you? Do you want to learn about the flora and fauna and what it means to be "Forever Wild"? Where to begin? Ed Kanze, Adirondack Naturalist and Guide, is a seventh-generation Adirondacker with decades of experience as a wilderness leader and interpretive naturalist. He is uniquely versed in where to go and what to look for and how.
  • Formerly known as the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, the Wild Center is a museum like you've never experienced. Approximately 50 animal species call the center home, including birds, amphibians, fish, and the world-famous river otters. The interest follows you outdoors with the Wild Walk, the treetop walk through the Adirondack canopy, and Forest Music, which pairs steel sculpture by Barney Bellinger and music by Whatever Penny in a one-of-a-kind outdoor art exhibit.

Woman holding produce at farmers market.

August

Adirondack Harvest

Wild blueberries abound in sunny places early in the month. Their flavor puts that of grocery-store blueberries to shame. Wild huckleberries (much like blueberries, with tiny gritty seeds inside) ripen at month's end. Connoisseurs prize them more than blueberries. August is the time to get down on hands and knees and search for the most elusive and delicious of wild Adirondack Mountain fruits, the often hidden creeping snowberry. Even many locals have never learned of it. The berries are white and round and about the size of a plump pea with the flavor of particularly savory wintergreen.

Resort Suggestions

  • Discover the delicious bounty of Mother Nature's edible plants at the Paul Smiths VIC with Pat Banker from Cornell University Cooperative Extension. Throughout this engaging program, you'll learn how to identify, harvest, and use a variety of wild, local edible plants. Pat will be on hand to answer your questions and offer guidance on cultivation and appreciation.
  • Foraging has been practiced for as long as people have lived in the Adirondacks, but it is definitely an activity best left to the professionals or practiced with a guide. That doesn't mean you must miss out on the mountains' bounty, you can absolutely take a taste of the Adirondacks home with you! Visit an Adirondack Farmers Market for locally grown produce, handmade crafts, and original art.

 

Explore the Great Outdoors

Early in the month, water temperatures reach the year's warmest. Go for a swim! August is an excellent month for all outdoor sports: hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and more. Birds are moving. Most summer birds are still here, but nesting duties are ended for most and locations are less predictable. Last chance to hear wild forest music. On lakeshores, listen at night for the deep bass voice of the bullfrog. It sings, Jug-o-rum, Jug-o-rum, Jug-o-rum. Cardinal-flower opens its flaming red flowers for business along the shores of rivers and lakes. In wet spots, the peculiar and arresting blooms of a wildflower called turtlehead appear.

Resort Suggestions

  • Escape the crowds and discover a hidden gem in the Adirondack Mountains by exploring the incredible lowland trails that offer a unique and captivating experience. While the Adirondack High Peaks may draw large crowds, the lowland trails offer tranquility and a chance to immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of nature. Meander through lush forests, meadows, and along serene lakeshores, encountering breathtaking vistas and a rich diversity of flora and fauna along the way. Whether you're a seasoned hiker seeking a new adventure or a nature enthusiast longing for peaceful serenity, the Adirondack lowland trails provide an extraordinary opportunity to reconnect with nature and experience the mountains in a more intimate and personal way. Embrace the path less traveled and uncover the hidden treasures of the Adirondack lowland trails, where beauty, solitude, and a sense of discovery await you.
  • Experience the natural wonders of the Adirondack Mountains at John Dillon Park in Long Lake, NY, where wheelchair accessibility meets breathtaking beauty. This inclusive destination offers a range of wheelchair-accessible trails, allowing everyone to enjoy the splendor of nature. Traverse through serene forests, alongside shimmering lakes, and encounter stunning vistas that will leave you in awe. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the Adirondacks, surrounded by towering trees, singing birds, and the gentle rustle of leaves. John Dillon Park ensures that everyone can experience the joy and tranquility of the outdoors. Discover the boundless adventures and unforgettable moments that await you on the wheelchair-accessible trails of John Dillon Park, where nature's wonders are accessible to all.

 

The First Tastes of Fall

Some Adirondack Augusts are colder than others. Late August may bring frosts that in turn usher in early autumn color, especially in red maple, silver maple, and yellow birch.

Resort Suggestions

  • With spectacular views of the Adirondack Mountains from most of our guest rooms, it's never too early to book your stay for our most popular time of year, fall foliage season! Book your Golf in the Adirondacks package and enjoy morning or afternoon with panoramic views of the Adirondack Mountains and 18-holes at Whiteface Club & Resort, one of the country's oldest golf courses.
Couple laughing over a glass of wine in Lake House great room at High Peaks Resort

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