Published on: October 15, 2023

Lake Placid at Thanksgiving

 Lake Placid – After a fall of beautiful colors in Upstate New York, when the calendar turns to November, we start counting the days to the great American feast known as Thanksgiving.

Around the Lake Placid Adirondack region, Thanksgiving weekend marks the official start of the winter season. By then, temps are dropping, snow is flying and gradually accumulating, and the Mirror Lake Inn’s holiday lights illuminate our seven acres.

But visitors shouldn’t feel they have to wait until the end of November to take advantage of our activities. There’s plenty to do as you build up your holiday appetite.

What to do in Lake Placid in November – here’s our outdoor menu

From your base at the AAA Four Diamond Mirror Lake Inn, you can have an authentic Adirondack experience and access the entire month’s to-do list.

One of the coolest experiences in November is the Cliffside Coaster. Located at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, this elevated ride on rails is North America’s longest coaster, one which allows you to control your speed.

On the other side of this venue, cross country skiers and snow shoers will find a 34-mile Olympic trail network for all ability levels. The site has a unique snow-making system that allows staff to create artificial snow at higher temps, so don’t be surprised to find a few kilometers of striding in November. You may also make use of a brand new 55,000 square foot lodge at the foot of the mountain, complete with dining and gift shop.

Just 10 miles from the Mirror Lake Inn on Rt. 86, Whiteface Mountain anticipates welcoming skiers and riders by Thanksgiving weekend or sooner if the weather cooperates. Keep an eye on their conditions report – if temps are cold enough for snow-making early in the month, and forecasters supply some natural snow, there could be a pre-holiday opening.

New chairlift at Whiteface Mountain
The Notch is a new high speed lift named after a section of Route 86 near Whiteface Mt

Spoiler alert – there’s a new lift this season at Whiteface Mountain. It’s The Notch, set to open in mid-December. This high-speed quad chair will bring skiers and riders from the Bear Den learning and children’s area to the mid-station Legacy Lodge with a stop in between. For beginners and novices, this will be a game-changer.

Those who enjoy ice sports, bookmark the links for the Olympic Speed Skating Oval and the Olympic Center. Both have been modernized with new technology the past two years, allowing for outdoor skating earlier in the winter. The oval is the site of American speed skater Eric Heiden’s unprecedented five Olympic titles in 1980. Skate on the same surface and brag about it later to your friends. The ice surface is just a mile from the Mirror Lake Inn at the opposite end of Main Street.

There’s more action at the Olympic Jumping Complex than high flying athletes sailing from the two jump hills. While you can’t participate in that sport for obvious reasons, take note of the Sky Flyer Zipline. You’ll be cut loose from the top of the landing hill, dropping parallel to the ground beneath you. This will give you a semblance of what ski jumpers experience as you quickly reach the base.

But there’s more at this location. Explore the eight-person Skyride Gondola and the ensuing 26-story elevator ride to the top of the HS 128 ski jump tower. You will literally be above it all, affording you spectacular views of the Northern Adirondacks.

View of the Adirondack High Peaks
The SkyRide Gondola brings guests to the top of the Hill Size 128 meter ski jump

What to do in Lake Placid in November – here’s our indoor lineup

There are Mirror Lake Inn guests who visit us simply for the relaxation that comes in many forms.

When the air is crisp outside, the fires are crackling inside. Our living room and library share the warmth of a two-sided Adirondack fireplace. Visitors grab a magazine, iPad or board game, and while others might be using their brawn outside, these folks are employing their brains inside.

Library seating with overhead chandelier
After all of our activities, make sure to schedule some relaxation time in our library

As this group cozies up on the main level of the hotel, others are found in our world class spa/salon/fitness center getting a massage, new hairstyle or getting in a workout. We will also find some of our patrons taking the low-impact, three-mile walk around Mirror Lake and working up their holiday appetites.

Which brings us to food at the Inn. On Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23), no matter how you spent it, all aromas lead to the AAA Four Diamond The View Restaurant and our bountiful Adirondack harvest buffet sourced from the terroir of the region.

Hotel guests will be able to book their party exclusively until Nov. 1, with seating from 4:00-7:30. Thereafter, The View will accept reservations from all diners on a first come, first served basis. Please reserve by calling 518-302-3000.

Dining room tables in The View Restaurant near a lake view window
The View Restaurant is aptly named with lake and mountain backdrops

Finally, in conjunction with the above information, we suggest keeping track of Lake Placid’s weather to assist in your trip planning. Also, our onsite reservations team is ready to discuss various ways that you can optimize your stay. Just give us a call at 518-523-2544. They know the Adirondacks inside and out, so please use them as a concierge service.

(Olympic venue images courtesy ORDA, Lake Placid Legacy Sites)