While I had visited Lake Placid New York a few times as a child, and grew up in the Adirondacks, I hadn’t recalled the name Mirror Lake when I began to do my research on the area for a family stay this past summer. What’s odd about this is that while Lake Placid is the bigger and more renowned lake in the village of Lake Placid, the real gem of the area in my opinion is the smaller, quieter and more serene Mirror Lake, which runs along Lake Placid’s main drag on one side. A great walk to do in fact is to circle the lake by foot as there are plenty of great views and nature to take in en route.
This precious lake has a few great things going for it — its water is clear and clean, which is partly because they bring crushed limestone into the lake each Spring to help keep it clean, which helps counteract the effects of acid rain, a big problem in the Adirondack Park. It’s also not very deep, making for warmer swimming than some of the deepest lakes in the region. Unlike Lake Placid, they don’t allow motorboats on the lake, so the lake is always serene even when the wind picks up. Because there’s no motorboats, you also don’t have the issue of gas leaking into the water and there’s a long lane sectioned off for swimming in the middle of the lake.
All of this and more is what makes Mirror Lake an ideal place to hang your hat for a week or so on a family or romantic getaway during the warmer months. From late Spring until Fall, you can get out on the lake in a boat of your choice and experience the magic it has to offer. Be sure to read my write-up on the lake as it evolves from early morning dawn to when the sun is ready to open wide for the day.
It’s hard to beat Mirror Lake Inn, which has rooms and suites on its main property directly across from Mirror Lake and in a much smaller building right on the lake, which lies adjacent to a private beach area only for Mirror Lake Inn guests. Located in the heart of the village of Lake Placid, this family owned inn by Ed & Lisa Weibrecht, gives the name “charm” a new meaning or perhaps we should just say that it has a whole lotta charm and character, Adirondacks style. So many Adirondack lodges try to weave in the Adirondack feel and style but they miss out on the luxurious touches that many still want when they head to the mountains.
This AAA Four-Diamond property gets many of its kudos no doubt for its stunning views of the lake, but rest assured that their exceptionally friendly service and the fine touches inside the rooms deserve a huge call out. We went with two adjoining rooms, one with two double beds for the kids and one with a king bed — see below for the two side-by-side rooms, which make for a perfect family stay solution. What will jump out immediately beyond the room layouts of course is the sitting area that faces exquisite views of Mirror Lake and mountain backdrop.
Another room type below that includes a fireplace, which is a great choice for stays during cooler times of year.
A larger room upgrade also with a fireplace and balcony, ideal for romantic weekend escapes and anniversaries.
A close up of one of our rooms.
Outside in the hallways, you’ll find tons of Lake Placid and Olympic memorabilia on the walls, from old fashioned wooden skis, paddles and skates to baskets and Adirondack-style framed photos from the 1930’s and 40’s.
While there’s no doubt the views and elegant touches to the rooms are one of the inn’s greatest features, as is its convenient location to water and snow activities, the property itself is beautifully manicured. As you enter the hotel, you’ll be hit with rows of vividly colored flowers on both sides, and they run all the way up to the parking area in the back.
They have a large chess board on the main lawn where Anthony and Jake played for hours one afternoon.
Below is the entryway to the main lodge, where you’ll find a beautiful sitting area, all furnished in a classic design with traditional antiques. This is also where reception is on the main floor where you can get homemade cookies and tea/coffee is set up just outside the main dining room that you can access anytime.
On the level below the lobby area is the spa, where I had a service done during our stay. Also on the same floor is the heated swimming pool, over sized hot tub and dry sauna.
Notice the soft lighting and bridge at the end of the pool, all of which makes for a great experience since you feel as if you’re outside with the surrounding trees and natural setting — it’s incredibly relaxing.
The over sized hot tub which is in the same room as the sauna so you can oscillate back and forth between the two….and then of course, jump in the swimming pool to cool off.
There are three restaurants connected to Mirror Lake Inn: The View, Taste Bistro and The Cottage, which is a cute casual bistro style restaurant across the street with outdoor seating and great views of the lake. I included some details on all three of them in my Lake Placid Foodie write-up, so be sure to read it to see what’s available for fine and casual dining in the area.
On the same side of the road is the second building of Mirror Lake Inn which I mentioned above; here there are additional rooms, with ones on the exterior directly facing the lake. I love the wrap-around old fashioned porch and chimneys. Next to this building is where the private access beach area is set up. Here is where you’ll find boats for complimentary use during your stay, including canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and paddle boats.
Here’s a view of The Cottage Restaurant and the lake beyond it from our hotel window.
A few more breathtaking views of the lake.
In addition to boating and swimming, you can also laze about at the private beach as they have a lovely dock with a couple of Adirondack chairs if you simply want to just watch the world (and the ducks) go by for an hour or two. It’s a great place to unwind, read a book or enjoy an afternoon cuppa tea.
If you do get out in a boat, here’s some of the magic you’ll experience on Mirror Lake! The calming nature of the lake is one of the most blissful things about staying here and makes for such a great place to get away from it all, leaving your technology and urban worries behind while you soak it all in. Seeing Adirondack lake lily pads again was a marvel as it brought back so many of my own childhood memories from summers spent on Caroga Lake.
There’s beautiful magic in a lily pad flower.
A few more shots out on the lake.
The owner’s son Andrew is a two-time Olympic medalist and they’re so proud that they alerted all passerbys with a sign vividly displayed on the lodge itself. While Mirror Lake Inn is clearly a luxury stay, this kind of personal touch gives you an idea of the creativity and warmth the owners and staff exude at the resort.
Of the three restaurants, The View offers the most upscale menu and there’s a fabulous wine menu as well — details included in my Lake Placid foodie write-up. Below is a main course entree from The View where we dined one weekend night.
Here’s a shot taken in the Fall, to get an idea of how the colors change dramatically in northern upstate New York. Vermont, eat your heart out!
Inside photos of the hotel rooms and the Fall Foliage photo all courtesy of Mirror Lake Inn; the rest of the photos taken by Renee Blodgett.
Mirror Lake Inn
77 Mirror Lake Drive
Lake Placid, NY 12946
Note: we were hosted but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.