There's a good reason the Winter Olympics were held here twice: the city and its surrounding area is a winter sports paradise. You don't have to be a downhill skier or snowboarder, either. There is plenty of hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and frozen lake ice-skating to partake in as well.

Olympic Sports

A major draw at Lake Placid is the opportunity to play like an Olympian (or just watch athletes train). Most activities are managed by Whiteface Mountain, the ski area where the Olympic ski races were held, but located in other spots around the area. Among other activities, you can do a half-mile on the bobsled track ($75) or a modified biathlon (cross-country skiing and shooting; $55). Lake Placid Speed Skating (www.lakeplacidspeedskating.wildapricot.org) organizes speed-skating rental and tutorials ($25) at the Olympic Center. Many sports are modified for summer – bobsledding on wheels, for instance. The Olympic Sites Passport ($35), available at all Whiteface-managed venues, can be a good deal, covering admission at sites (such as the tower at the ski-jump complex and the gondola ride at Whiteface Mountain) and offering discounts on some activities.

Hiking

There are great hiking trails near Lake Placid, for instance on Rte 73 towards Keene – look for the pullout in Cascade Pass for a 4.8-mile round-trip hike to Cascade Peak (4098ft). This hike is very popular in season and you'll need to get there early to be in with a chance of snagging a parking spot at the base of the trail.

The trail up Mount Jo (2876ft) can easily be tackled in half a day and starts from Heart Lake near the Adirondack Loj. For more options see www.lakeplacid.com.