Summer Resorts 2002-Northeast: Whiteface Mountain, N.Y.

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Whiteface Mountain, N.Y.

What's more fun than going native in the deep forests of the 6-million-acre Adirondack State Park? How about emerging from the woods in lively Lake Placid for a smooth reentry into civilization. This tidy little resort town, a short drive from the slopes of Whiteface, lines the shores of Mirror Lake. (Lake Placid itself, much bigger and deeper, is adjacent.) In the age of steam, well-off city dwellers arrived by train to vacation at the once-opulent Lake Placid Club, just across the lake.

Though Lake Placid is no longer a playground for the supremely wealthy, it has a pleasant, campy feel well-suited to the family summer vacation. The scenic beauty is unbeatable here in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. And there are all the usual summer activities: golf, tennis, hiking and water sports of all ilk.

But owing to its Olympics heritage, gold medal luger Jimmy Shea's hometown offers many unique experiences: bobsled rides, biking on the nordic trails, rides to the top of the 120-meter jump (where you can watch elite-level jumpers train).

Surrounding it all is the nation's largest state park, making Lake Placid truly a bright light in the wilderness. ¿J.C.

DON'T MISS A bobsled ride¿almost too scary.

best deal Olympic Sites Passport ($19): Visit the top of the 120-meter jump, ride the gondola, and tour the Olympic Museum and skating facility. Bearers also get $5 off bobsled rides ($35) and a tour of the facilities.