Mary Ann, Becky, John, Sara, Pixel and I all travelled down to Lake Placid on February 8th in two cars for five days of winter R&R, if there is such a thing. The trip down was to be particularly snowy but turned out to be a 6½ hour ordeal of freezing drizzle, but with at least little or no snow instead of the predicted 12-13″. Following plows all the way was what added most of the time to the trek.
The Lake Placid KOA Kampground opened in the winter this year for the first time in many years. It was a pleasure to be able to return and enjoy winter activities in such a great setting. The campground is located approximately one mile east of Whiteface Mountain ski area in Wilmington, NY. The setting along the Au Sable River is just gorgeous at any time of the year, but is particularly peaceful and quiet in the winter. Besides the usual KOA Kamping Kabins, they also have quite a number of larger, fully winterized, Kamping Kottages. Many are newer models, but there are still a few older but recently remodelled log cabins. While we choose a newer model based on the online pictures and floor plans when we made our reservation, the cabin we were assigned upon arrival was an older one. Since we arrived late, after the office had closed for the day, we had no choice but to accept it. Once settled away we were happy with it though and wouldn’t have wanted to move. It was ideal for two couples and two dogs. However it would be best described as “rustic”. If you’re looking for luxury, this is not it. Bed linens and towels were all provided. You can snowshoe or cross-country ski right from your door throughout the park property and there is good access to nearby trails. The dogs thoroughly enjoyed their time off-leash playing in the deep powdery snow. Cellular coverage (AT&T) in the area is iffy due to all the mountains. WiFi in the park is OK but dropped connections, low speeds, and poor signal strength was common. Satellite TV was available on a new flat screen TV but we didn’t turn it on. The kitchen area is small and cramped but includes a microwave, toaster, coffee maker, two burner cook-top, and a full size refrigerator, dishes, pots, pans, and utensils. We brought a slow cooker for preparing heartier winter meals such as chili and stew. There are restaurants nearby though and some offer a discount to KOA guests. The highlight of our stay were the two evening campfires we had outside. Firewood is available for purchase at the camp store. The only problem we encountered was the unexpected presence of ants in the cabin. They were more of an annoyance than anything though. I hope to go back.
All-in-all we had a great few days of walking and snowshoeing while John and Sara also tried their hands at snowboarding and snowbladeing on Whiteface Mountain. We returned on Friday the 13th in brilliant sunshine and -38° C wind chills, but clear roads, taking only 3½ hours on the return drive.