Interstate 87: The Adirondack Northway: NY 86 East to Wilmington - Whiteface Mountain Ski Area

NY 86 East to Wilmington - Whiteface Mountain

Whiteface Mountain, click here for huge, 1.3 MB version of this picture Whiteface Mountain, click here larger version of this picture
looking down the west branch of the Ausable River Gorge

The Town of Wilmington is the home of that great Olympic Winter Ski Homage: Old Man Whiteface Mountain. It also follows the beautiful West Branch of the Ausable River through High Falls Gorge, the 35mph tight zone. The road follows the river just before you get into the town center. This is a big fly fisherman spot but there is a catch and release, artificial lure restriction on the sport fishing in river there. There is also a restriction on the rock cliff climbing too due to the peregrine falcon nests. The town has plethora of lodging and is the budget and low noise spot close to Lake Placid.


For the leg challenged traveler, who doesn't want to do the grueling hike from Lake Placid Landing to the summit of Whiteface Mountain, there is a highway, the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway, NY 431, which winds its way almost to the top of the grand mountain. This toll and scenic road was built in the Great Depression as a public works project. The Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway is also a challenge for serious cyclists, who also are drawn to this area. Most of the bicycles I saw on the NY 86 were worth more than my car.


Most people heading this way in the winter are probably heading to Whiteface Mountain Ski Area, the ski slopes of the 1932 & 1980 Winter Olympics. Lake Placid is also the home of the US Winter Olympic Training Center too. The mountain has the highest vertical drop, 3,430', of any ski area east of the Rockies, which is at an altitude of 4,687'. Though the last 264' you have to climb on your own, so the actual drop from lifts is only 3,166'. The longest run is over 2 miles. Over the years they have added snowmaking to extend the season. Off season, they feature mountain biking. and gondola rides to the top. All this is run by ORDA, or Olympic Regional Development Authority. They also run the ski jump, bobsled runs and Mt Van Hoevenberg X country ski area on NY Route 73, southeast of Lake Placid.



Whiteface Mountain, click here for huge, 1.3 MB version of this picture Top of Whiteface Mountain, from Veterans Memorial Highwa
Top of Whiteface Mountain, from Veterans Memorial Highway, click here larger version of this picture (Taken by Gerry Kataskas)

Useful Links
Whiteface Region Tourism Board |  Whiteface Mountain Ski Area |  NYS Region 5 Fishing



Participating Establishments
12997 Zip Essex County 518 Area Code

Huntigton Motel & Cottages Huntington Motel & Cottages NY 86 at Whiteface Mountain, Wilmington NY
North Side of the Road
Call for specials
Phone: 518-946-2332 email

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Interstate 87: The Adirondack Northway


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