Every summer, my in laws take the kids for a week (or two.) Usually, this means the husband and I fix up the house or do something equally as boring. This year, I decided we were going to go away and do something fun. House repairs and work could wait.
I grew up visiting the Adirondacks, and while my family still has a house there we could have used for free, we knew we wanted to have a different type of Adirondacks experience this time around. The husband and I both camped a ton before the kids were born and I’ve missed it a ton. In the end, we chose to camp at the Lake Placid / Whiteface Mtn. KOA Kampground.
As the name implies, the Lake Placid / Whiteface Mtn. KOA sits in the shadows of Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, NY (located about 20 minutes outside of Lake Placid, NY.) We chose a KOA this time around because we knew we could expect clean, spacious sites, plenty of bathhouses, and a camp store for any last-minute purchases. In other words, we didn’t want a primitive campground. Mama wanted to shower every day, but still feel like we were really camping.
KOA also offers a great military discount- we saved 20% off our stay! Four nights of camping for well under $100 fits our budget quite nicely, especially when you can easily save even more money by cooking meals right at the campsite.
The Lake Placid / Whiteface Mtn. KOA features full and partial hook-up sites for RV’s and campers, tent sites (no hook-ups), and several types of cabins. It also has a pool, arcade, snack bar, laundry facilities, store, bike rentals, playgrounds, organized activities, mini golf, plenty of walking trails, access to the Ausable River, and free WiFi (although we could never get it to stay connected for longer than a minute or two.) The staff was always friendly and available if we needed anything.
When I made the reservations, I requested a site with privacy. We were camping without our kids and I wanted to be as far away from anyone else’s children as possible. I love kids, just not when I’m trying to have a relaxing, kid-free vacation. We wanted to be able to enjoy a quiet campfire every night and wake up to the sounds of nature in the morning, not the sounds of other campers. KOA delivered.
I’m pretty sure we couldn’t have had more privacy. Our site was located at the very end of the campground, with plenty of trees and shade. The campsite was (mostly) level, with a fire ring, picnic table, and plenty of space for parking.
We could barely see our neighbors (the blue tent in the photo below), who ended up checking out on our second day. No one else occupied that campsite for the rest of our trip, so we were really off on our own site of the campground. It was amazing. We never had issues with noise from other campers, and the staff drove around during quiet hours to make sure everything was peaceful.
We were right along the path that led out of the campground and across the street to The Hungry Trout restaurant and another that led down to the river. We fell asleep and woke up to the glorious sounds of the rushing river and now my sound machine just seems pathetic. We hiked down to the river while enjoying our morning beverages. It was the perfect way to start the day.
A little further down the river path is a swimming hole, complete with rock jumping. I was not brave enough to try it out, but there were tons of people down there each day, happily jumping 20ft down into the river. Nope.
The bath houses were clean and we never waited more than a few minutes for a shower or restroom. The floors do get muddy, which is inevitable in a campground. Just bring shower shoes and you’ll be fine. The water pressure was glorious. Nothing beats a hot shower after hiking up a mountain. Well, nothing other than a cold beer and a hot shower. Just not together.
The bath house we used also had a stove/oven and a large sink, which we used to wash our dishes each day. (I forgot to take pictures of our bath house, so you’ll have to settle for one I took in another part of the campground. Most of the bath houses are similar, with an outdoor sink, showers, and bathrooms. Some had laundry facilities included, and one we saw was basically an outhouse, but they’re all a short walk from each other if you need something different.)
The best thing about the Lake Placid / Whiteface Mtn. KOA, though, was the location. Whiteface Mountain’s entrance was a mile away, downtown Lake Placid was a gorgeous 20 minute drive, and we had easy access for our High Peaks hike. We’re used to staying in our family cabin just outside of Adirondack Park near Lake Champlain, and we enjoyed staying in the Wilmington/Lake Placid area much more. We may even stay at the campground when the rest of the family is staying at our family cabin.
I read a ton of reviews when we were deciding on a campground and the majority of reviewers said they’d stay at the Lake Placid / Whiteface Mtn. KOA again and that it’s, by far, one of the best KOA properties. After our visit, I have to say that I completely agree. We’ll be staying at the Lake Placid / Whiteface Mtn. KOA again in the very near future, maybe even with the kids in tow next time. And my new camper.
Is there anything you’d like to know about the Lake Placid / Whiteface Mtn. KOA or tent camping in the Lake Placid area? Leave a comment and let me know and I’ll answer it the best I can!
This post about the Lake Placid/Whiteface KOA was originally published on FiddleDeeMe.com in July 2015.