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Getting to Lake Placid, Lake George and Northern New York

Things to do / Travel Guide

By Plane

As there are no major airports to which you can fly directly into the northern New York region, your best bet is to fly into an airport in one of the big cities surrounding the region (New York City, Boston, Toronto, or Montreal) or mid-sized airports like Syracuse, Albany and Burlington, Vermont, and drive from there. It is possible to fly directly into the region's smaller airports, but people more commonly enter the region via an airport outside the region, and then driving in.

If you choose to fly directly into the region, Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear, New York, provides the only commercial service to the Adirondack Park, with daily flights to/from Boston, as well as flights to/from Plattsburgh, Albany, and Buffalo, all serviced by Continental Airlines. Flights from Boston take about one hour.

By Car

Close to several major cities in both the United States and Canada, including New York City, Boston, Toronto, and Montreal, many Interstate highways and State Roads lead right into the region. If you'll be driving across the border from Canada into the United States to get to northern New York - or for that matter even taking a bus, train or ferry - make sure to bring legal proof of citizenship and identification.

The Interstate highway system skirts the edges of the region, allowing simple access from all directions.
  • From the south (Albany, the Catskills, New York City, and the entire Eastern seaboard): Take Interstate 87 North to exits 20-39, and to U.S. Highway 9, which leads to various Adirondack communities, State Roads and local highways.
  • From the west (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse): Take the New York State Thruway, Interstate 90, to exits 31-24 to access various Adirondack communities, State Roads and local highways.
  • From the northwest (Toronto and Ottawa): From Canadian Route 401, a number of bridges crossing the St. Lawrence River provide access to New York State Roads 3, 30, and 812, which lead into the northwestern portion of Adirondack Park.
  • From the north (Montreal): Take Route 15 south to the Champlain Crossing, where you connect with Interstate 87 South.
  • From the southeast (Boston, Springfield, Hartford): From northern Vermont, you'll be taking I-89 to Burlington and then crossing Lake Champlain by ferry and docking at Port Kent or crossing Lake Champlain by bridge near the Canadian border. From Massachusetts and points south, access Interstate 90 (also called the Massachusetts Turnpike) to Albany, and then Interstate 87 or U.S. Highway 9 heading north. U.S. Highway 4 connects with New York State Road 22, providing access to the southeastern corner of the Adirondack Park.
The following are approximate distances and driving times to and from Saratoga Springs and Lake Placid to other destinations outside the northern New York region:
  • Albany: Saratoga Springs – 35 miles, 40 minutes; Lake Placid - 140 miles, 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Burlington, Vermont: Saratoga Springs - 115 miles, 2.5 hours; Lake Placid - 90 miles, 2 hours
  • Boston: Saratoga Springs - 200 miles, 3 hours 20 minutes; Lake Placid - 305 miles, 5 hours
  • New York City: Saratoga Springs - 190 miles, 3 hours 15 minutes; Lake Placid - 290 miles, 5 hours
  • Toronto: Saratoga Springs - 380 miles, 6.5 hours; Lake Placid - 330 miles, 6 hours 20 minutes
  • Montreal: Saratoga Springs - 190 miles, 3 hours; Lake Placid - 110 miles, 2 hours

By Train

Amtrak's Adirondack line runs daily between New York City and Montreal, which takes about 9 hours and 50 minutes total, making several stops in northern New York along the way at Saratoga Springs, Fort Edward-Glens Falls, Whitehall, Ticonderoga, Port Henry, and Westport. From New York City to Saratoga Springs takes about 3.5 hours; from Saratoga Springs to Montreal takes about 6 hours and 45 minutes. From New York City up to Ticonderoga takes about 5 hours and 20 minutes and from Ticonderoga up to Montreal takes 5.5 hours.

In addition, there's also the Empire Service line, which skirts the southern edges of the region more or less parallel to the New York State Thruway. Daily service on this New York City-Niagara Falls train line features stops near Albany, Schenectady, Amsterdam, Utica, and Rome – all cities that are less than an hour drive away from the northern New York region.

By Bus

Several bus lines connect the northern New York region to major cities in New York State and beyond. The Adirondack, New York, and Pine Hill Trailways bus line serves Glens Falls, Lake George, Lake Placid, Lake Saranac, and many other destination points, with connections from Montreal and Toronto. Trailway-Adirondack Bus Line also runs several routes to the Adirondacks, with daily scheduled arrivals in the Lake George area. The Greyhound Bus Line connects New York City with the Lake George area on a daily basis as well.

By Ferry

Several ferries connect travelers from Vermont to northern New York via Lake Champlain, which straddles the border between the two states. The Lake Champlain Ferries offer excellent views of the Adirondack and Green Mountains and can be found in Plattsburgh, Essex, Port Kent, and Ticonderoga on the New York side. These ferries can accommodate cars, trucks, RVs, bicycles, and motorcycles. The ferries to Plattsburgh and Essex take about 20 minutes each and operate year-round, while the Port Kent ferry runs from late May to early October and takes about an hour. The Ticonderoga Ferry operates May-October, connecting Ticonderoga, New York with Shoreham, Vermont in just seven minutes. It's the oldest ferry to cross Lake Champlain, having been in operation since 1799.Horne's Ferry connects Ontario, Canada, via Wolfe Island (the largest of the Thousand Islands), with Cape Vincent, New York, in the northwest corner of the region. This boat carries cars and motorcycles, and takes about 20 minutes.

Airports Serving Lake Placid, Lake George, Saratoga Springs, Adirondacks and Northern New York

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Albany County Airport (ALB)
Clarence E Hancock Airport (SYR)