It is shaping up to be a delightful Memorial Day weekend of outdoor fun in Lake Placid, NY, frequently cited as one of the country’s “Best Outdoor Towns.” After the typical Adirondack roller coaster spring weather, things are finally heating up. Air temperatures hit 70 in the Adirondack Mountains this week and the water in Mirror Lake is warm enough for hardy, wetsuit-clad swimmers. Although Memorial Day is the traditional kick-off to summer in the United States, don’t expect South Jersey summer-time warmth in the Adirondacks this weekend; temperatures are expected to top out in the low 70s. And bring your rain gear if you plan to spend time outdoors, there is usually a chance of rain in the mountains as there is this weekend. At least there is no Memorial Day snow in the Adirondack forecast this year. The hardwood trees have finally opened for the season, although the still delicate light green of their leaves reminds us this is just the beginning.
Just the beginning of the warm season or not, the roads and trails are already bustling with cyclists and runners. Lake Placid is a hot spot for recreational athletes working on fitness and competitive athletes training for Ironman Lake Placid, the Olympics, and a multitude of cycling and running races. The number of multi-sport training camps and competitive events scheduled for the area is larger each year and reinforces the region’s reputation as great place to pursue high-energy athletic fun.
For outdoor enthusiasts of a less competitive nature, the hiking trails in and around the Lake Placid region are recovering from the damp spring. Hikers should be prepared for muddy, wet trails however, and remember to walk through - not around - mud and water to prevent eroding and widening the trail. Hikers might also encounter blown-down trees and limbs leftover from spring storms. Water levels remain high, streams are running swiftly and the water is cold. These factors increase the risk of hypothermia and drowning should you fall into the water, so use caution when crossing streams without foot bridges. Trails and campsites adjacent to water may also be flooded, so be prepared with “Plan B” in case you find your preferred campsite under water. For the most current backcountry conditions, check out the link to New York State’s backcountry report in the right column of this site. It is always there, very helpful, and updated weekly.
Speaking of camping in the Adirondacks, don’t forget your bear-resistant canisters. Bear-resistant canisters are required for overnight visitors to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Area and are recommended throughout the Adirondacks between April 1 and November 30. All food, toiletries, and garbage go in the bear-resistant canisters. Visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Adirondack Trail Information web page for more information including current weather forecasts, regulations, safety tips, and trail conditions.
In a tent or in a hotel, on the trails, a bike, the water, or hanging from a rock, the Adirondack Mountains have all the ingredients for outdoor recreation enthusiasts of all types to create their own Adirondack adventure. Have fun!