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When most people think of New York, they immediately think of the concrete jungle filled with skyscrapers and Radio City Rockettes. Yet, so much more lies within the great northeastern state. At just under a four-hour drive north of Manhattan, you will find yourself in a completely different landscape filled with mountains, lakes, and hiking trails. If you’re an adventure traveler who loves to explore new places, Adirondack is a great place for you to gain a unique experience ranging from skiing to visiting with wildlife. Start packing your hiking boots and snow gear; here is your ideal Adirondack vacation travel guide.

Visit the Olympic Sports Complex.


Home to the 1932 Winter Olympics and reconstructed for the 1980 Olympics, the Lake Placid Legacy Sites are curated into four different locations: Olympic Center, Olympic Jumping Complex, Mt. Van Hoevenberg, and Whiteface Mountain. You can walk through the Olympic museums, ski, and snowboard, ride the gondola up the mountain to watch the ski jumpers, ride the zip line, and take a ride down the world-famous Cliffside Coaster. You can even tie the knot at the beautiful Lake Placid Legacy Site. Please note that it is important to schedule your trip according to the seasons, as most of the activities and adventures at the Olympic Center are offered only during the wintertime.

Make furry friends at the Wild Center.


About 21 miles southwest of Saranac Lake, the Wild Center features 81 acres of forest and plenty of wildlife to marvel at with your family. The center offers films on animals, hands-on activities, and a butterfly garden. However, the experience that most excites people of all ages is the animal encounters, which give kids and adults an up-close look at owls, otters, porcupines, skunks, and various reptiles and amphibians. On top of this, there is a nature walk known as the Wild Walk, which includes a four-story treehouse, swinging bridges, and lounging spaces designed to mimic a spider web and a bald eagle’s nest. This experience is only offered from May to mid-October so it is essential to plan your trip accordingly. Tickets to the Wild Center range from $10 to $20 depending on age and the season.

Gaze upon majestic waterfalls at the High Falls Gorge.


The High Falls Gorge is a 22-acre nature park featuring four extravagant waterfalls and hiking trails. You will feel as though you’ve been transported into another world as you stroll through this magical landscape. The hike is short at around 30 to 45 minutes, but it will leave you feeling empowered and tranquil. This is the perfect spot for seniors who wish to experience the great outdoors but not be weighed down by extreme hiking conditions. It is also good for younger children and perfect for a school trip. There is a gift shop and cafe for you to visit, too.

Experience the arts at Saranac Lake.


The village of Saranac Lake has become a hub of cultural events and the arts. You can experience historical talks and art galleries on an evening out while drinking a locally sourced craft beer. There is a well-known Winter Carnival that goes on for 10 days, full of games, performances, and fun events for the whole family to enjoy. This event is volunteer-driven and relies on the community to continue, thus it exemplifies the true spirit of the village as everyone gathers to celebrate the wintertime. This event begins in early February and lasts for 10 days.

The Adirondack area offers outdoor fun and adventure for people of all ages and is sure to provide gorgeous scenery and fresh air for the adventurer in you.

Eloise Morris