We’ve heard about the stunning Adirondacks, but are the mountain views that all there is to know about Lake Placid? Hardly! There are some interesting factoids about this tucked-away piece of heaven that you probably don’t know.
- The word ‘vacation’ was invented because of Lake Placid. The term originates from the word ‘vacate’ and in the late 1800s, that’s exactly what New York’s wealthy upper class did. The richest and most elite of the upper class vacated the stuffy city and headed to the Adirondacks for what was deemed as the freshest air in the world. Until this time, Americans borrowed the word ‘holiday’ from Britain, but now they had their own word. From then on, Americans had their own phrase, ‘going on vacation.’
- You could fit 5 of the best known national parks inside the Adirondacks. Glacier, Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon would all fit inside the 6.1 million acres of protected forest that make up Adirondack Park surrounding stunning Lake Placid. It’s hard to believe because of its location, but it’s true! Because of its size, the area is home to fish, birds, moose, deer and hundreds of other species – incredible considering its proximity to the hustle and bustle of city life.
- It’s one of the best places in the United States to see fall foliage. Lake Placid is known for its cool summer weather, a pleasant change for visitors searching for relief from the sweltering air at home. However, many people are pleased to find out that Lake Placid is an all-season vacation spot. The reason for this stunning fall display is the variety of trees found in the Adirondacks which all change to different colors throughout the season. Maple, aspen, oak, birch and beech trees put on quite a show during the month of October.
- There are over 2,000 miles of marked hiking trails around the lake. This system of trails is the largest in the United States. Hikers pass by waterfalls and encounter some of the most untouched forests in the world. Many of these trails are extremely challenging because of the high mountain peaks of the Adirondacks. If you’re up for a challenge, you can attempt to become a member of the ADK 46ers, a group of over 9,000 people who have hiked the 46 High Peaks of the mountains.
- Lake Placid has hosted the Olympic Winter Games twice. Melvil Dewey, inventor of the Dewey Decimal System (also a little-known fact), was instrumental in luring the Games the first time, in 1932. He began this work decades earlier, in 1904, when he promoted Lake Placid as a winter sports resort. The second time Lake Placid hosted the Winter Olympics was in 1980 – again, after years of work on the part of residents and dedicated fans of the Lake Placid area. Only two other places – St. Moritz, Switzerland and Innsbruck, Austria – have been home to 2 Olympic Winter Games.