Lake Placid, New York, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Mid-Atlantic - New York - Adirondacks -

Set among tall pines and white birches in the gorgeous Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, Lake Placid is a spring-fed, sparkling 2,173-acre lake that offers year round beauty and entertainment for residents and visitors alike. Internationally known for hosting the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic games, the village of Lake Placid has become a bustling resort community where you can experience all that the Adirondacks have to offer.

Lake Placid averages 50 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 151 feet. A small dam on Outlet Brook, on the southwest side of the lake, was constructed in 1904 to help regulate the water level in the lake. There are two large islands in the middle which are popular for picnicking, camping, and fishing. Sport fish in the lake include rainbow trout, lake trout, Northern pike, perch, splake, and smallmouth bass. Watercraft of all types and size are welcome on the water, and there are many boat launches and docks located at campgrounds surrounding the lake. The best way to experience the lake is from the water. Kayak and canoe rentals are plentiful. Cruises and tours are available for those who just want to sit back and relax and enjoy the beauty of the region.

For fly-fishermen visiting Lake Placid, the legendary West branch of the Ausable River offers some of the best brown trout and rainbow trout fishing in North America. Six and a half miles of the Ausable’s channels and deep pools are designated as catch and release areas to ensure great fishing for future generations. For those who would like to learn the art of fly-fishing, instructional clinics and guided stream trips geared for all abilities will increase your chances of hooking up with trophy fish in the streams and rivers that make their way through the mountains.

Consuming fish from Lake Placid is safe, but some areas of the Adirondacks have fish advisories due to mercury levels. See the Adirondack Park Fish Advisory link at the bottom of this page for information on consuming fish from area lakes and streams.

Camping is a great way to discover the Lake Placid region. Lake Placid’s accommodation options range from primitive lean-tos to extravagant waterfront cabins overlooking the lake. Most campgrounds offer a variety of services to include swimming beaches, boat ramps, boat rentals, fishing docks, bathroom facilities, heated showers, electrical, water and cable TV hookups for RVs, miniature golf, playgrounds, sports fields, outdoor pools, picnic areas, and even Wi-Fi. For those who prefer more comfortable accommodations, vacation rentals of all kinds are available.

To truly enjoy the grandeur of the Adirondack Mountains and the natural beauty and fresh air of the woods, Lake Placid serves as a year-round base camp for thousands of miles of wooded hiking, biking and equestrian trails and countless pristine summits from which to view it all. Majestic Whiteface Mountain, whose reflection can be seen in the clear waters of the lake, offers a challenge for hikers and mountain bikers who want to defy the 4,867-foot peak. For those seeking less of a challenge, the mountain can also be conquered via a gondola ride or a drive up the Veterans’ Memorial Highway.

The town of Lake Placid is also home to Mirror Lake, a 128-acre lake which you can sail on in summer and skate on in winter. The lake’s shoreline is totally developed with private residences, hotels, and the backyards and balconies of many Main Street shops.

A large part of the appeal of Lake Placid is the town for which it is named. Lake Placid Village is a fun place for shopping and browsing the talents of local artists and craftsmen. Over 100 shops and boutiques are within walking distance from the southern end of Lake Placid. Particularly popular are “lodge” style furnishings and Adirondack “stick furniture” that have been a trademark of the region for over a century. Cultural activities are plentiful in the area, including live theatre, concerts, dance performances, film and fine arts exhibitions. Other attractions include the Olympic Center on Main Street which houses four ice rinks and a Winter Olympic museum. There are several golf courses in the area and a youth center complete with a skate park. The winter sports center is a half hour drive away. The Ausable Chasm, The Adirondack Museum, Santa’s Workshop and scenic flights over the Adirondacks are just a few of the attractions within a short drive. After a day of fun in the sun, relax in one of the village pubs or fine restaurants.

For a unique family outing, take a day trip to Lake Placid’s larger next-door neighbor, Saranac Lake. A ride on the scenic railroad that connects the two towns will allow you to spend the afternoon exploring historic downtown shops, art galleries and lakeside parks.

Although a popular destination for summer and fall activities, the Lake Placid area sees no decrease in tourists after the snow falls. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are perhaps two of the most popular winter activities. At Whiteface Mountain, winter sports enthusiasts will encounter some of the best alpine skiing in the country. Snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice fishing, bobsledding, a thrilling luge run, or just a leisurely chairlift ride up a mountain is a great way to take in the snow-covered beauty of the Adirondacks.

If you’re looking to paddle a canoe on a pristine lake, scale a majestic mountain, catch a trophy sized trout, or take a hair-raising bobsled ride, consider a visit to Lake Placid. After a day of unforgettable outdoor adventure, the area’s restaurants, spas, shops, and inviting accommodations and attractions will help complete a vacation you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Things to do at Lake Placid NY

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Miniature Golf
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Placid NY

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Splake Trout
  • Trout

Lake Placid NY Photo Gallery

Lake Placid NY Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Surface Area: 2,170 acres

Shoreline Length: 20 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,857 feet

Average Depth: 50 feet

Maximum Depth: 151 feet

Completion Year: 1904

Lake Area-Population: 2,638

Drainage Area: 22 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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