Not only do swimmers, kayakers and fishermen enjoy the waters of Mirror Lake, those who prefer to stay on dry land also enjoy circling the lake on the red brick sidewalk. ATL (around the lake) as locals call it, has no steep grades and is a less strenuous alternative to hiking a High Peak.
Beginning near the tennis courts in Peacock Park and going in a counter-clockwise loop, the sidewalk takes you along the shore of the lake, past the old Lake Placid Club property. A grassy knoll on the left is a popular and often crowded sun-bathing spot in the summer. Look carefully and you may be able to spot two loons, who took up residence on Mirror Lake last year.
Continuing on, the path leaves the shoreline and continues past Northwood Road and Mount Whitney Road on the right. Mirror Lake Drive now passes through a residential area with multi-million dollar homes, some of them brand new, along both sides of the street.
As you take in the scenery, don’t forget to look down. The red brick is occasionally interrupted by 46 grey stones, each bearing a name of one of the Adirondacks’ highest peaks. Several grey stone benches, one of them dedicated to local Olympic ski jumping legend Art Devlin, provide resting points.
The sidewalk continues past Ruisseaumont Way and Taylor Way on the right, both private drives with stone pillars, hinting at the quality of the “camps” to be found here. Mirror Lake Drive is now on a skinny piece of land separating Mirror Lake on the left and Lake Placid on the right. The Lake Placid Marina, on the right, is a popular summer boat launch. The sidewalk now passes through another residential area, followed by hotels, inns and cottages before coming to the junction of Main Street and Saranac Avenue.
The streets become busier, bustling with shoppers and cars as you continue past Mid’s Park and Lake Placid’s main commercial district of shops and restaurants. At the end of Main Street, take a left down Parkside Drive, past the post office and under the toboggan chute to the village beach. The loop ends here, where you started, at Peacock Park.
If you go: Remember to pick up after your dog. Plastic bag dispensers and garbage cans are located every quarter-to-half mile. Although it may be tempting, don’t feed the ducks. It makes them dependent on handouts and puts humans at risk for a parasite known as “swimmer’s itch.”