Who says a winter getaway is all about staying inside and cozying up next to the fire with a book and some hot chocolate? When Saranac Waterfront Lodge guests prefer to get their hearts pumping, they'll find plenty of electrifying thrills in the area.
Visitors of all ages can get in on the fun, from a four-person sled ride on steroids to an exhilarating climb up an ice wall. Bundle up and get ready for an experience you won't soon forget.
Lake Placid Toboggan Chute
Take sledding to the next level on the Lake Placid Toboggan Chute. Recently rebuilt to replace the original structure, the 30-foot-high converted ski jump trestle has been a popular local attraction since the 1960s. It whisks riders down ice-covered tracks on toboggans carrying two to four people each, shooting them out onto the frozen Mirror Lake. In fact, the chute can't even open for the season until there's at least a foot of solid ice there. And if you doubt that a simple sled ride can truly get your adrenaline flowing, just take note of this cautionary advice on the website: "You must be in good health, and free from heart conditions, motion sickness, back or neck problems, or any other physical limitations" to ride.
Dog Sled Tours
Toboggans aren't the only kind of traffic you'll see on a solidly frozen Mirror Lake. Dog sleds also skate across the ice, taking blanket-covered passengers on an exciting ride with amazing scenery. Visitors can find providers such as Thunder Mountain Dog Sled Tours set up on Main Street in Lake Placid, where teams of adorable huskies stand at the ready. In addition to a Mirror Lake loop, Thunder Mountain mushers also offer an Adirondack Wilderness Tour.
A thrilling experience isn't always defined by speed. Take ice climbing — working your way up a 1,000-foot sheer ice wall most certainly offers a rush. In the Adirondacks, ice-climbing options include everything from challenging adventures for experienced rock climbers to recreational lessons with a licensed guide. Mix in a little skiing or snowshoeing with an excursion to the North Face of Pitchoff Mountain, whose remote base requires a trek to reach. Or take the tried-and-true trail at Cascade Pass, a popular spot with easy access. There are also places that include slides and crevice climbing. The expert guides at tour provider Adventure Spirit recommend Chapel Pond Slab for first-timers, Avalanche Lake for unbelievable views, and Chapel Pond Canyon for groups with wide-ranging abilities.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Whether you're an experienced skier or new to the slopes, Whiteface Mountain has an adventure for you. Less advanced skiers can try the 2.1-mile-long Wilmington Trail, the longest single intermediate run in the Northeast. Experts can head to the property's double-black-diamond series of steep, narrow chutes, called the Slides. Tricksters might instead opt for the wide range of terrain parks. For skilled riders, Broadway and Brookside offer the biggest jumps and longest rails.
If you think toboggans can go fast, you'll be amazed by a ride down the bobsled track at Lake Placid's Olympic Sports Center, part of the Mount Van Hoevenberg Sliding Center. The venue has hosted not only Olympic races but also world championships. Accompanied by a professional driver and brakeman, Bobsled Experience participants fly down the half-mile track at speeds of up to 55 mph. While this particular thrill is currently unavailable because of the pandemic, adrenaline seekers can instead check out the site's new Cliffside Coaster, North America's longest mountain coaster. Riders control their own speed as they zigzag among the trees on the 1.4-mile track.
Book Your Adirondack Adventure Now
Don't let the winter pass you by without discovering a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Saranac Waterfront Lodge. Make the leap and book now!