The Majestic Adirondacks and the Charming Mirror Lake Inn
-Article by: Norm Goldman
-Paintings by: Lily Azerad-Goldman
Rare is the person these days who does not crave for sparkling clear lakes, lush natural
spruce, hemlock and pine forests, high peak mountains, unspoiled wilderness, and a feeling of complete relaxation
Isn't this what a romantic getaway is all about?
One destination worth considering and offering all of the above and more is the quaint village of Lake
Placid, located within the Adirondacks in the northern part of
New York State.
It is here where you will discover on the northern shore of Mirror Lake, one of the two lakes surrounding the village,
the four-season resort Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa.
An inn where you can kick off your shoes, hang up your hat and easily stay for a few exhilarating days without
The history of this famous inn dates back to 1924 when Climena Alford, a native of Lake Placid, married William
Rufus Wikoff of Massachusetts, who was the originator of the "Fuller Brush Man."
William and Climena retired to Lake Placid, where they converted an estate that dated back to 1883 into a high
quality inn known as Mir-A-Lac Inn. Even during the depression the inn managed to succeed, adding on rooms, building
the dining room, winterizing, and making general improvements.
It was at this inn that the first rope tow powered by electricity was installed. It was also the first to have
a skating camp housing many world-class skating champions, and it also hosted the Norwegian team during the 1932
Olympic Winter Games.
For the past seventeen consecutive years, the Inn has earned a Four Diamond "Exceptional" Award for excellence
from AAA and it also holds Mobil Travel Guide's three star "Excellent" Award. Since 1998 it has been
a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group as part of their North American portfolio.
Condé Nast Traveler Reader's Poll in 1998 rated the Inn as number one for service. In 2002 it was the reader's
choice of Condé Nast as one of the top 30 North American Resorts and highest rated in the Northeast, and
earned a place on its top elite Gold List.
How can you not agree with these accolades when you consider the extra personal touches the inn provides: complimentary
tea with biscuits served each afternoon in the Wikoff Room, that has been recently refurbished in the Adirondack
Great Camp style with cedar log trim, birch bark accents, board and bead paneling and two massive stone fireplaces;
morning and evening housekeeping service; a newspaper delivered to your door each morning; morning coffee served
in the Terrace Suite Coffee Shop. Above all there is that personal warm service that immediately greets you when
you step into the front door.
Arriving guests can register into one of the 128 well-appointed rooms that include 19 suites. These suites are
split, single-level or studio suites with living room areas and whirlpool baths. The superior bedrooms come with
picture windows with panoramic lake and mountain views and large private balconies. There are Colonial bedrooms
that are smaller and homey.
For those seeking beauty, fitness and pampering, the resort's Spa offers a myriad of possibilities. Choices include
detoxifying armomatherapy, salt glow, and several massage options. There are even fitness and yoga classes, individual
training sessions, as well as the possibility of having a one-hour consultation with the inn's Registered Dietitian/Certified
If you are into an early morning dip, the indoor and outdoor pools can more than amply satisfy your needs. There
are even specific times set aside for lap swims.
Paddle- boats are also available during the appropriate seasons to help you get the stiffness out of your legs
while you cruise Mirror Lake.
In winter you may want to put on your pair of skates and enjoy the invigorating Lake Placid air.
Guests with hiking and skiing in mind will find the inn's location ideal. Within minutes there are miles of hiking
trails for the beginner as well as the experienced, leading to magnificent lakes, rivers and mountain summits.
The Adirondack region of New York can boast that it has the largest hiking trail system in the nation, and it includes
the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park. Nearly half of the park is public land, accessible to everyone.
Hikers can troop Mt. Jo, one of the finest trails in the area, providing fantastic rewards for little effort. Another
great passage is Rocky Falls leading you through the woods to a series of cascades and a swimming hole; a great
place to enjoy a picnic lunch and some painting. The Jackrabbit Trail, named after Herman "Jackrabbit"
Johannsen, the legendary Norwegian who helped popularize ski touring in the Adirondacks in the early 20th century,
is another popular venue.
In 1988 the Adirondack Ski Touring Council opened the trail as a cross-country ski trail stretching from Paul Smiths
to Keene, a distance of over 35 miles. Snowshoers, hikers and cross-country skiers from all over the world use
The resort's activities coordinator can arrange rock-climbing excursions, canoe and fly- fishing trips, and out
door fun-guided hikes. A licensed Adirondack guide leads all the resort's adventure trips.
Just bear in mind-- the lakes are just waiting for you to drop a hook and perhaps catch a rainbow or lake trout,
small or largemouth bass, great northern pike or a pickerel.
If you want to go it alone, the coordinator can provide detailed maps pertaining to the various hiking trails,
ponds and lakes.
Nearby is Whiteface Mountain, host of the 1980 Olympic games, and where the longest vertical drop in the East at
3430 feet is located. The ski center is open from November through April, and it has a network of 65 trails with
state-of-the art grooming, 10 ski lifts, expanded snow making operation, and ski and snowboarding schools. A complimentary
shuttle service provided by the Town of Lake Placid will pick you up at the inn every hour on the hour between
8 a.m. and 1 p.m., and brings you back between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. during the winter season.
At the end of the day, guests can enjoy innovative cuisine of the inn's Averil Conwell Dining Room, where there
is an array of choices of appetizers and entrées prepared by award winning chef Matthew Baldwin and his
There is nothing like a romantic candlelight dinner, while taking in the views of the Adirondack High Peaks,
the ideal backdrop for that special experience.
Lake Inn Resort and Spa
5 Mirror Lake Drive
Lake Placid, NY
Placid Essex County Visitors Bureau
216 Main Street-Olympic Center
Lake Placid, New York