Olympic Ski Jump Complex
If you approached Lake Placid from the east on Route 73, the first thing you undoubtedly noticed were the stark towers of the Olympic ski jumps (off Rte. 73, 518/523-2202, www.orda.org, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. daily May–Oct. and Dec.–Mar., adults $8, children 6–12 $5), looming out of the landscape like giant misshapen thumbs. The site still serves as a training center and is open year-round, thanks to plastic mats, water ramps, and snow-making machines.
Upon entering the complex, stop first at the freestyle aerial facility, where—with any luck—you’ll see athletes practicing their maneuvers by sailing over pools, off water-filled ramps. Next, visit the main lodge to view a photo exhibit on the history of ski-jumping, and catch the chairlift to the 90-meter jump. If training is taking place here, you can watch from an observation deck. If not, take the glass-enclosed elevator to the top of the 120-meter jump for great views of the High Peaks.
At the entrance to the village stands the elongated Olympic Center (2634 Main St., 518/523-1655, www.orda.org), built for the 1932 Winter Olympics and renovated for the 1980 games. The center still houses four Olympic ice-skating arenas, one of which is sometimes open for public skating, along with the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau (518/523-2445 or 800/447-5224, www.lakeplacid.com, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, closed some Sun.) and the 1932 and 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum (10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, adults $4, seniors $3, children 7–12 $2).
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition