Main Street in Lake Placid stretches along the western shore of a magnificent little lake. But that lake is not Lake Placid, as I thought. Lake Placid is on the north edge of downtown and strangely out of sight.
The lake that defines Lake Placid is Mirror Lake, and it was there, on the 8th, a bright Sunday afternoon, that Nebra and I strolled the lake’s perimeter, a distance of less than three miles.
On the 8th, we had driven the 10 miles east from Saranac Lake to Placid, checked in at the Marriott Courtyard on what we considered an excellent deal of $125 for the night, then walked into town, a mile uphill.
While Saranac Lake is small and low scale but, yes, friendly and with beautiful old homes, Lake Placid is more upscale, a vacation destination for the wealthy which is not us by any stretch. And of course Placid has the winter Olympic ties from the 1932 and 1980 Games.
Some in Saranac Lake, perhaps with jealousy, call their sister city in the Adirondacks “Fake Placid.”
Anyway, we did the walk around Mirror starting near the post office on the south and moving counter-clockwise. The lake reminds me of a sock dangling toward the floor.
One of the great aspects of doing Mirror is the number of mountain views on the south end. And every so often there is a square on the paved walkway “pointing” to a particular mountain in the distance. Sometimes you see the mountain, sometimes you don’t.
As we head north, the walkway pulls 50 yards or more from the lake, around cabins, houses, inns and restaurants at lake’s edge. Though the signs are still there, like “Mount Marcy,” the view is totally lost. Dense swaths of tall trees prevent the view. Still it is a beautiful walk with colorful flowers with glimpses of Mirror as background.
On the north end, we cut across the street and ambled over to Lake Placid, the lake. Talk about a misnomer. The waters of Placid were rough, a chill wind blowing. Uninteresting from this point by some boat-laden docks. It was eerie. It was Mirror Lake that seemed placid.
The walk covers only about three-fourths of the lake, then you have to complete the loop by sauntering through downtown shops with no view of Mirror at all.
But if you are in Placid, you have to do the loop, if nothing else but to say you did it.