The Adirondacks are a prime destination for leaf peepers, with the area boasting some of the most impressive fall foliage in the Northeast. But leaf peeping isn’t the only thing to do in the region during the fall. We’ve picked some of our favorite things to do in the fall to help you fully take in all the Adirondacks have to offer this season.
The Adirondacks are home to the largest trail system in the nation, offering some of the best hiking in the East with over 2,000 miles of marked hiking trails. With this many options, there’s a trail for everyone, no matter the skill level. Below are some options based on how long you want to spend hiking.
Interested in hiking in the Adirondacks? Make sure you’re prepared!
Some important things to remember include:
- Wear the proper shoes (walking shoes, hiking shoes, hiking boots)
- Wear the proper clothing (moisture wicking synthetic fibers that keep your skin dry and help regulate your body temperature in both cold and warm weather) AVOID COTTON – it holds moisture!
- Carry additional layers
- Enough water for each person
(1-2 liters for 2 hour long hikes | 3-4 liters for 3-5 hour long hikes)
- High calorie food and snacks
- Sunscreen, bug repellent, first aid kit
- Extra baggies to carry your trash out
- Your needs will vary based on the intensity of your hike. Learn what you need.
High Falls Gorge
If you’re looking for a short day trip for the whole family, check out High Falls Gorge. High Falls Gorge is a 22 acre, privately owned nature park. Located just a short drive from Lake Placid, you will find safe trail access to an otherwise inaccessible area. Sturdy bridges, walkways and groomed walking trails provide access to breathtaking Adirondack views and scenic photographic vantage points.
You can also take the ½ mile waterfall walk along the mighty AuSable River to view High Falls Gorge, a deep crevice created a billion years ago! High Falls Gorge offers visitors stunning views of 4 waterfalls traveling over 700 feet horizontally. The natural beauty of these waterfalls combined with the brilliant hues of the fall foliage makes for perfect photo opportunities for the family!
When you’ve finished exploring outside, grab a bite to eat at the Adirondack inspired River View Café . Before you leave, be sure to stop in to the Adirondack gift shop!
Cost: Adults $11.95 | Children (4-12) $8.95
Hours: September 1 – October 28 | Open Daily 9am – 4:30pm
4761 NYS RT 86 | Wilmington, NY 12997
Whiteface Memorial Highway
Driving up Whiteface Memorial Highway is a must for anyone visiting Lake Placid. Taking the Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway to the top of Whiteface Mountain (New York’s fifth-highest peak at 4,867′) isn’t your typical automotive experience. You’ll start at the Toll House, and drive up the five mile paved road for an experience like no other. At the summit you’ll find a castle built from native stone, a restaurant and gift shop, plus spectacular 360 degree views. The top of Whiteface is one of the best places to see Lake Placid Lake.
Note: there is a short, rocky climb to the summit, so be sure to wear sneakers!
Cost: Vehicle & Driver: $12 | Additional Passenger: $8 | 6 & Under: FREE
Hours: June 1 – October 8 | Open daily 8:45 am – 5:30 pm
5021 RT 86 | Wilmington, NY 12997
Looking for adventure in the Adirondacks?! Check out the zip lining course at Experience Outdoors! After checking in, you’ll be equipped with a harness, helmet, and gloves. Your two leaders will go over the rules and prepare you for the next 2 hours! You’ll take a short ATV ride up the mountain where you will then get to practice before going on the actual course.
In total, you will get to experience 6 zips, 2 rappels, and a suspension bridge.
As you go through the course, you’ll take in amazing views of the Great Range Mountains and the bobsled track!
Cost: Adults $65 | Children (7-17) $50
Hours: Daily | 10am | 12pm | 2pm | 4pm
Reservations are highly recommended!
Looking for a great team building exercise? Experience Outdoors has that too!
Bring your work team, sports team, or any group and take on the low and high rope elements! Reservations are required.
4948 Cascade Road | Lake Placid, NY 12946
Tucker Farms Corn Maze
Tucker Farms is a family owned and operated potato farm located 20 minutes north of Lake Placid. Tucker Farms offers 14 varieties of NYS certified potatoes to commercial, farm-stand, and home growers. They also sell their potatoes to local chefs and retail stores! You may have had them at Liquids & Solids, Lisa G’s, or the Whiteface Lodge.
A big draw in the fall at Tucker Farms is their corn maze. The corn maze features a fun new design every year. When you get to Tucker Farms, you will receive a map. Within the maze you will find a number of mailboxes with picture pieces. As you collect the pictures, you add them to the map. Once you find all the pieces, you will see the design! Once you’ve finished the maze, head back to the start for a bonfire complete with s’mores fixings!
For a really fun and challenging experience, try the corn maze at night. Friday and Saturday nights, the corn maze is open later and guests use flashlights or headlights to find their way through the maze. They also have a Fright Night to get you ready for Halloween!
Cost: Adults $10 | Children (13 & younger) $8 *CASH ONLY
$1 off coupon!
Hours: August – Last Weekend in October
Thursday – Sunday | Noon – Dusk
Friday & Saturday | Dusk – 10pm
64 Hobart Road | Gabriels, NY 12939
Fall in Lake Placid is a great time for golfing. Panoramic Adirondack High Peaks scenery, coupled with lush fairways and well-manicured greens, make for that one of a kind golfing experience that is unique to the area. Golfers have a variety of courses to choose from, whether they want to play 9-holes or 18.
Many hotels in the area offer great golf packages to complete your stay. Be sure to check out the Golden Arrow Golf Package and Add-On!
A great way to see Lake Placid, and take in the fall foliage is to do a scenic tour. There are two options, depending on what you’re interested in seeing.
A Lake Placid Boat Tour is a great option if you’re looking to explore Lake Placid Lake and learn some history about the area. Head over to the Lake Placid Marina and take the one hour, narrated cruise.
Cost: Adult $17.50 | Children (3-12) $11 *Credit Cards Only
Fall Hours: September 4 – October 8
Daily 10:30am | 1:30pm | 3:00pm
24 George Bliss Lane | Lake Placid, NY 12946
If you’re looking for something with a bit more views, and you aren’t afraid of heights, check out the scenic flights offered by Adirondack Flying Service. The 20 minute tour will give you breathtaking views of the High Peaks or Whiteface Mountain. The aerial views of the fall foliage will be like nothing you’ve ever seen!
Cost: $65 per person |minimum of 2 people *first come, first serve (no reservations)
Hours: Open daily | year round
Lake Placid Airport RT 73 | Lake Placid, NY 12946
If you’re looking for a quick, midweek activity, check out the Lake Placid Farmers’ Market. Offering the only “producer-only” farmers’ markets in the eastern Adirondacks, The AuSable Valley Grange Farmers’ Markets offers an option in Lake Placid as well as Saranac Lake.
Visit local vendors offering seasonal vegetables, herbs, and fruits. You can also find a variety of artisanal cheeses, maple syrup, and fresh baked goods.
The Lake Placid farmer’s market is located in Jewtraw Park, with a beautiful fountain backdrop. It’s also located next to the Lake Placid Rotary Park which offers a nice setting for a picnic. There is also a playground to keep the kids entertained.
Hours: June 27 – October 17
Wednesday 2pm – 6pm
Jewtraw Park, Station Street | Lake Placid, NY 12946
If you’re looking for a classic fall festival, you need to visit Lake Placid during Oktoberfest weekend. 2018 will mark the 27th annual Whiteface Oktoberfest, complete with music, food, and beer! Check out more info about the Whiteface Oktoberfest here.
Not only does Whiteface have an Oktoberfest, but so does the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. The weekend after the Whiteface Oktoberfest, the pub celebrates with their own version! The day starts with a 5k race (runners receive a free pint of beer) followed by live music, games, food, and of course great beer!
Whiteface Oktoberfest 2018 dates:
11am – 7 pm | Saturday, September 22nd
11am – 5pm | Sunday, September 23rd
Lake Placid Pub & Brewery Oktoberfest
11am – 8pm | Saturday, September 29
5021 RT 86 | Wilmington, NY 12997
Olympic Ski Jumping Complex
If you’re looking for something to do that takes in the history of Lake Placid, plus gives your great leaf peeping opportunities, you need to visit the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex.
At the Jumping Complex, you’ll get an up-close and personal tour of the ramps that ski jumpers use during the Olympics. Did you know they fly over the length of a football field?!
You can take the glass-enclosed elevator to the observation deck of the 120 meter jump. At the top, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of what the jumpers see as they go down the ramp. You’ll also find panoramic views of the Adirondack High Peaks.
If you’re lucky, you might even get to see some ski jumpers practicing! Thanks to some pretty clever technology, these athletes have the ability to practice this daring sport, even without snow!
Interested in visiting the ski jumps? Check out the Flaming Leaves Festival!
Cost: Adults (13-64): $11 | Junior (7-12)/Senior (65+): $8 | 6 & under: FREE
Event Days: Adults (13-64): $16 | Junior (7-12)/Senior (65+): $10
Hours: June 21 – October 21 | Open daily 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
October 22 – 30 | Wednesday – Sunday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (elevator only)
5486 Cascade Road | Lake Placid, NY 12946