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Somewhere Over an Adirondack Rainbow

It's nearly autumn in the Adirondacks and people from all over the world flock to the High Peaks Region to take in the beautiful display of fall foliage. You can enjoy the beautiful colors from wherever you are, but for something truly spectacular, hop into Adirondack Scenic Flight's Cessna and enjoy the mountains from over 1,000 feet above.

Published: 09/20/2016

Elevation: 1745'
15 September 2016

Many people come to the Adirondacks to commune with nature and each other while hiking or trekking through and around beautiful mountains and lakes.

I am more of an indoor dog.

While a nice walk in crisp early autumn air has its appeals, so too does a leisurely climb out of LKP over our tucked-away village, Mirror Lake, and the arrangement of islands and waterways that is Lake Placid. Working upward toward Whiteface Mountain and continuing the climb over Wilmington, it becomes clear how beautifully isolated we are in the heart of the High Peaks Region, and how vast that region is within the Adirondack Park.

But we are airborne and moving right along; within 8 or 9 minutes the pilot radios Burlington tower in Vermont requesting clearance for a low pass over sparkling Lake Champlain which is dotted with sailboats out for one of their last sails of the summer.

A few moments and a 180-degree turn later and we are right over the alpine ridgetops of four High Peaks – and another dozen filling the windscreen – about fifteen minutes after leaving the ground in Lake Placid, and more than a third of the 46 peaks are in a single frame! The colors on the hillsides seem to change right before my eyes – purples, yellows, tiny dots of red, rusty-green – and changing with the contour of the land – I imagine where it was frosty under last night's nearly full moon.

As the general manager of High Peaks Resort and Lake House in Lake Placid, I have the opportunity every day to talk with guests about their adventures in our mountains. And even though I consider myself an "indoor dog," I love to hike and snowshoe and cross country ski, and too often the busy-ness of life and work gets in the way of those pleasures. A few moments in the sky powerfully remind me of the beauty that surrounds this great place and the mental clarity found after time with nature, and by the time the little Cessna touches down on runway 32 at LKP, I have re-reminded myself how lucky my team and I are to live in the middle of this beautiful park, and have re-committed myself to take the time to enjoy the crunchy sound of leaves during the coming month of incredible fall foliage.

General Manager Matthew Wheeler with the Adirondack Mountains in the Backdrop
General Manager Matthew Wheeler