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Spring Activities for the Off Season

April 30, 2011 - Christie Sausa
Now that the venues are closed and the figure skating season is ending tomorrow, many skaters are wondering how to keep in shape during the "off season" until summer training commences. When I was competing, and even now as a "semi-recreational" skater, I find it difficult to keep fit during the off season months. The first few years I lived in Lake Placid, it was a struggle to find activities that would challenge me when speed skating season ended and the arena was closed (in May and the first week of June). Clearly I needed to look no further than my own backyard.

Here are some fun activities for skaters (and even non skaters) to participate in during the off season:

1) Take a Hike- Literally.

Living in Lake Placid allows everyone, from the casual hiker to the expert of the trails, to enjoy hiking. I still consider myself a novice hiker (as evidenced by my slightly humerous account of my hiking adventure in one of the Lake Placid News articles last spring) but even I can handle some of the trails in and around Lake Placid. My favorite is the Pennisula Trail, located off the road behind the Comfort Inn on Saranac Ave. It is relatively flat and a great starter trail. Of course, there are always places to stop in and ask about which trails would be best for your skill level; Eastern Mountain Sports on Main Street has several books and maps on the topic, as does High Peaks Cyclery on lower Main Street. Their knowledgeable staff would be happy to help you out.

2) Ride a Bike

In 2003, my first year living in Lake Placid, I was given a generous Christmas gift by a friend of our family. It was a red and black Trek mountain bike, probably the most invaluable gift I have ever received. Since then I have taken many trips on my mountain bike, and survived several falls without so much as a scratch (at least, no scratches on the bike). Even just using a bike as a mode of transportation instead of driving can increase fitness level. During the spring and summer I make it a habit to take a bike ride every day.

3) Hot Yoga

Lake Placid Hot Yoga, located on Saranac Ave, is a recent addition to Lake Placid. According to their website, hot yoga " was designed to systematically stimulate and restore health to every muscle, joint and organ of the body. Participants are guided through a series of 26 postures, each increasing in physical challenge." For more info, check out their website at

4) Walk around the Lake

It is common in Lake Placid to see people walking or running around the lake all year round, but especially in the spring or summer. The entire walk (including Main Street) is a little over 3 miles, and a nice way to enjoy the scenery while exercising.

5) Mountain Bike!

The Whiteface Mountain Bike Park will be opening a week before June 17th (the date of the Whiteface Bike Fest) but this is a fun activity to participate in during the summer. Mountain biking is different because it allows the rider to ride down trails in between ski trails. There is also a pump track (a track with bumps on the straight-a-aways and banked turns which allow riding without pedalling). For more info, visit their website at


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Mountain Biking at the Whiteface Mountain Bike Park.


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