Thursday, April 17, 2008

New York's Best Kept Secret: Wilmington

We all know people have heard about Lake Placid, host of not one but two Winter Olympic Games. And since Whiteface Mountain was the site of the 1980 downhill ski events and continues to be a world-class mountain, it is also associated with Lake Placid.

But Whiteface Mountain is actually located in the town of Wilmington, ten miles outside of Lake Placid. And for many people who stay in Lake Placid and don’t go beyond the mountain, they miss out on some of the great features of Wilmington. That’s why we consider it New York’s Best Kept Secret. Some of our little-known treasures include:

Lake Everest - a fabulous little sandy beach on the Ausable River with a playground, picnic area, fishing access, lifeguards in July & August, and live concerts every Thursday evening in the summer.

Skate Board Park and Ice Rink – located next to the Youth Center on Park Lane, the skate board park is great for kids in the summer, and in the winter it becomes a free outdoor ice rink. Works are underway to improve the skate board park to make it even better. Also next to the skate board park is a great playground.

Veterans Memorial Highway – also known as Whiteface Mountain Highway, is not actually a highway but a scenic, winding road that takes you to the top of Whiteface Mountain. Most people are familiar with the Cloudsplitter Gondola at the ski center, which takes you to the top of Little Whiteface. But if you want an unobstructed, panoramic view of the Adirondacks, go 3 miles past the ski center and make a left turn to drive up to the top of (big) Whiteface (admission charged). Elevation is 4,867 feet and on a clear day you can see forever. Did you know Whiteface Mountain is the 5th highest mountain in the Adirondacks and the highest mountain in the park (and in the state) that you can drive to?

Events – the Two-Fly Challenge in May, the Uphill Foot Race and Uphill Bike Race in June, Ironman Competition in July, Town Wide Yard Sale in August, Free Summer Concerts at the Beach, the Festival of the Colors in September. These are just some of the events and activities you can experience here throughout the year.

Lots of conveniences – many people who have not visited Wilmington are under the impression that there is not much here. Yes, it is a quaint, somewhat quiet town, but that’s part of the attraction. And we have a little bit of everything you need, including more than 7 restaurants, over 13 motels and inns, several campgrounds, tons of vacation rental properties, several shops, 4 churches, a miniature golf course, a library, and even a gas station. What we don’t have are traffic lights and parking meters, but we think you can get by without these modern devices.

These are just some of the gems here in Wilmington. If you’re planning a trip to the Adirondacks, be sure to take some time to visit us to see what you’re missing. While in town, be sure to stop in at the Visitor Information Center at 5753 Route 86 (located between the Methodist Church and the Library), or visit them online at

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