Explore the Olympic Region Ice Cream Trail

LAKE PLACID — As a newcomer to the Tri-Lakes while interning at the Lake Placid News this summer, I’m unfamiliar with the local hot spots. So to correct this, I took it upon myself to find some staple places in the area that are community beacons.

I couldn’t visit every mom-and-pop shop around — that would take too long — so I decided to choose one category — ice cream — and create an unofficial Olympic Region Ice Cream Trail for the newspaper.

I love ice cream. It’s the perfect summer treat after a long day of work.

I gathered information from online, locals, co-workers and friends from home who had visited ice cream parlors in the area. Again, there were too many to visit them all, but I visited a few standout ones from a master list.


Entering Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery is like stepping back in time to the 1950s. (News photo — Delainey Muscato)


In Lake Placid, I had to visit Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery at 2507 Main St. Stepping into Emma’s was like taking a step back in time, into a 1950s ice cream shop. The candy-colored floor and ceiling make the joint feel happy and bright. Even on a dreary day, Emma’s was full of customers.

I tried the Better Brownie Batter flavored hard ice cream. The chunks of brownie and chocolate ice cream were an explosion of flavor, a chilly reminder of mom’s homemade brownies.

Better Brownie Batter on a cone from Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery. (News photo — Delainey Muscato)

Parking can be a hassle due to Emma’s popularity and location. Luckily, I was able to find a spot just a bit down the road. Emma’s is open from 1 to 10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday; and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

I am a hard and fast lover of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Milk and Cookies pints often find their way into my freezer at home. Imagine my delight when I drove down Main Street for the first time and saw a Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop right there. This location is open from 12:30 to 9:30 p.m. at 2423 Main St.

Another Mountain Mist Ice Cream exists in Lake Placid at the old Custard, Mustard and Brew location, 2241 Saranac Ave., which is open daily from noon to 10 p.m.

The Adirondack Corner Store and Deli at 188 Newman Road in Lake Placid has more than sandwiches and subs. It also offers soft ice cream. It is open from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Whitebrook Dairy Bar in Wilmington offers a multitude of sweet treats, including floats, shakes and soft or hard ice cream. (News photo — Delainey Muscato)


Wilmington is not without its sweet treat locations as well. I visited Whitebrook Dairy at 5660 state Route 86 to try their ice cream. I ordered a small mint chip on a cone. Unfortunately, they were out of mint chip, so I settled for a scoop of cookie dough. I made it to my car to enjoy the cone just as it began to downpour. They also sell items off the grill such as burgers and hot dogs. Don’t forget cash as they are a cash-only establishment. Whitebrook Dairy is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Though technically a chain, the Wilmington A&W Family Restaurant at 5629 state Route 86 has a local feel and serves its signature root beer floats along with other frozen treats. It is open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

More than just sandwiches, subs, and pizza, Little Supermarket in Wilmington at 2505 state Route 86 serves soft ice cream with some unique rotating flavors, such as coffee. They are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Donnelly’s Ice Cream in Saranac Lake has been serving soft ice cream for over 70 years. (News photo — Delainey Muscato)


Noon Mark Diner at 1770 state Route 73 in Keene Valley — famous for their pies, jams and breads — opens a window for ice cream in the summer. The diner is open from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Olive Maiore, left, and Muna Kubaji serve up Donnelly’s famous soft-serve ice cream outside of Saranac Lake. (News photo — Delainey Muscato)


In Saranac Lake, I visited Donnelly’s Ice Cream at 1556 state Route 86, about 4 miles north of the village toward Gabriels. Friends of my parents told me about this place even before I left my home in Canandaigua.

Open since 1953, Donnelly’s has served delicious soft ice cream with a unique twist (pun intended). Donnelly’s offers two flavors every day. Vanilla returns every day accompanied by a daily rotating flavor. Past flavors have included strawberry, honey cinnamon, black cherry and coconut almond.

The day I visited, the rotating flavor was chocolate. I got a small chocolate and vanilla twist in a cone. It was delicious. The cream was so smooth that it started melting almost as soon as I stepped into the sun.

Donnelly’s posts their rotating flavors for the week on their Facebook page at the beginning of each week. They open at 11 a.m. and close at 9:30 p.m.

I will definitely be stopping back a few more times to try some of their other flavors. Be sure to remember Donnelly’s is a cash-only establishment.

If you are looking for hard ice cream or a variety of flavors in Saranac Lake, there are a few more places to get ice cream there.

Mountain Mist Custard, located at 260 Lake Flower Ave. next to Fogarty’s Lake Flower Marina, sells hard and soft ice cream with a large array of flavors. They are open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Among camping supplies, meat, beer and gasoline, The Trading Post at Fish Creek Ponds — Knapp’s — also sells ice cream. They are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and are located at 4426 state Route 30 between Saranac Inn and Tupper Lake.


At 1179 state Route 86, across the road from Tail O’ the Pup BBQ in Ray Brook, is The Pine Cone ice cream stand, which is open from noon to 8 p.m.


Teddy’s Ice Cream and Grill at 1663 state Route 3 in Bloomingdale posts a new sundae of the week on their Facebook page each week. They sell hard ice cream, soft ice cream, ice cream cakes and more. They are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.


In Tupper Lake, there are a few places to get your ice cream fix.

Timberjaxx Pass offers ice cream with a side of mini golf if you are up for it. Recently opened, you can find this course at 86 Demars Blvd.

Skyline Ice Cream, open from 1 to 9 p.m. at 1976 state Route 30, sells soft ice cream, gelato and even some dairy-free options.


Stewart’s Shops convenience stores sell ice cream — two locations in Lake Placid and one location each in the communities of Keene, AuSable Forks, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake.

McDonald’s also offers ice cream at locations in Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake.

We couldn’t list every place that sells frozen treats in the Olympic Region, but these are the highlights.

Hopefully, as I continue exploring Lake Placid and its surrounding towns I will be able to try most if not all the ice cream places on my master list.

Stay tuned for the 2024 “Battle of the Cones” hosted by the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism in the summer. This competition — for places around the Adirondack North Country Region — begins on July 22. Learn more at www.adirondackwayfinder.com.

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