Frequently Asked Questions
about Lake Placid

No. Early conservation-minded lake owners had the foresight to block a bid to build a road around Lake Placid Lake. Instead, key landholdings were granted to the state, thereby granting them “Forever Wild” status.

“Forever Wild” is a constitutional designation set into the law at the turn of the century that states that once a property in under state ownership, it can not be developed for any purpose whatsoever, making it literally “forever wild.”

There is a way to see this beautiful lake, even if you do not own a house on it. The Lake Placid Marina takes guests on a 16-mile, round-trip boat tour and points out all the highlights. Be sure to ask about the Lady in the Lake!

Whiteface Mountain View of Lake Placid and Mirror Lake

The scar was left by an avalanche and rock-slide that occurred after a heavy winter rain a long time ago. The Adirondack Mountains are made up primarily of rock and covered by a small amount of soil and trees; therefore, slides occur on many mountain, changing their appearance from year to year. 

National flags on the road to Whiteface Mountain

The media quickly snatched up most of the traditional lodging options, and ABC took up most of the guest rooms at the Golden Arrow. Many of the athletes stayed with local families. The Holderied Family hosted many of the Austrian Ski Team at their home. The town also built an athletes’ village in the town of Ray Brook (between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake). 

Main Street during the 1980 games

The building that was the Athletes’ Village is located in Ray Brook (between Lake Placid & Saranac Lake). It is now used as a prison.

Congress set a requirement that the village be built with a second life already in mind. Options included turning the village into a hospital, housing space or a permanent athletics facility, but in the end the only government agency that would sign on was the Federal Bureau of Prisons. 


The Venues from the 1980 Olympics are still used today and continue to be upgraded to host World Class events. All four venues are less than a 20-minute drive from the Village of Lake Placid. 

Fun Fact: Lake Placid is one of the few Olympic Villages where each venue can be seen from the others. E.g when you’re visiting the Olympic Sports Complex, you can see Whiteface Mountain, The Ski Jumping Complex, and the Olympic Center. 

Strangely enough, none of the tri-lake villages lie on their namesake. 

Lake Placid sits on Mirror Lake.

Saranac Lake sits on Lake Flower.

Tupper Lake sits on Raquette Pond.

Mirror Lake in the fall