It’s been a rough snowy few weeks and a seriously cold winter so far, but hey, we live in New York! It’s to be expected. So if you can’t beat um, join um! This weekend might be great to head even further up north and experience the Saranac Winter Carnival, see an ice palace, and embrace winter! The carnival has been going on since February 6th, and will continue until February 15th. It’s a bit of a hike up to Saranac Lake, so a few stops along the way might be a fun way to break it up.
One idea is to stop off in Lake Luzurne just over an hour north of Albany at Tubby Tubes and go snow tubing (1289 Lake Avenue, Lake Luzerne, NY 12846). They usually have a groupon available to cut down on costs. It’s a lot of fun to grab a tube, get dragged up a hill, and scream your head off flying back down it! There are different lanes to choose from with different speeds, and you can tie yourself to friends and create a train. Kids and adults alike are having a blast here. You can warm up with hot cocoa in the concession stand. Good old fashion fun.
Another stop is a visit to Lake Placid an hour and forty minutes north of Lake Luzurne. It’s a beautiful drive when you get this far north and if you’ve never been you don’t know what you’re missing. You’ll see stark nature on the roads meandering adjacent to sheer mountainsides and pristine lakes. This area is equally as gorgeous in the summer, fall, and spring, containing some great hiking/swimming spots. The town of Lake Placid has a lot to offer. You can check out the Olympic sites, pop into shops, grab a meal, or go dog sledding. On beautiful Mirror Lake (at the corner of Main St. and Saranac Ave) you will see the action. Waiting in line can be frigid and $10 rides begin at 10am going around the lake. Layer your socks and get there early, it’s first come first serve. You get a blanket once you’re on the sled. It’s really fascinating to watch the personalities of the dogs, who are clearly happy and loved. I remember our lead dog Tanner and the rest gave us a memorable ride.
Saranac Lake is less than 20 minutes away and the Carnival is splendid. On the shores of Lake Flower (Try the intersection of River St  and Church St in Saranac Lake or Latitude: 44.323489 Longitude: -74.124785, once you’re in town and hit the lake you’ll figure it out!) is the spectacular ice palace, the centerpiece of the carnival. You can walk inside and check out various ice sculptures. When we went years ago the theme was ‘Under the Sea’ and there was a parade of sea related creatures marching about. This could be a special and unique Valentines Day road trip, or a visit on this Sunday 2-15 (the last day of the event) will have fireworks. When we visited a few years back it was a seriously fantastic fireworks display!
Check out the Carnival’s schedule of events to see what will be going on, this year the theme is Groovy 60s:
Trip back down to Albany from Saranac Lake is about two and a half hours if you don’t plan on spending the night. It’s a long day, but one sure to be full of winter fun and memories!