Summer Resorts 2000-Northeast, Whiteface Mountain, N.Y.


State-owned Whiteface adopted a new slogan last season: "Oh my." It aptly sums up the lump-in-the-throat feeling visitors get upon first gazing down the Olympic downhill course. But it's equally apropos in summer, when the glorious views atop Big Whiteface elicit the same response. Beauty and the cool mountain air have long drawn visitors to the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks, which, thanks to preservation efforts and its remoteness, remains untrammeled-which is not to say uninteresting. Set up your vacation base camp in Lake Placid, and the only thorny issues intruding on your summer sojourn will be how to do it all and where to begin. The options are infinite. Hiking, biking and rock-climbing in the rugged Adirondacks; swimming, canoeing and windsurfing on its many lakes; fishing, rafting and kayaking its rivers. But it's the Olympic tradition that sets the region, host of the 1932 and 1980 games, apart. At Mt. Van Hoevenberg (518-523-4436) and nearby Kodak Sports Park (518-523-2202), summer ski-jumpers and bobsledders go about their training undaunted by the absence of snow. Visitors can take in the view from atop the 120-meter jump tower, where athletes soar using porcelain and plastic instead of snow. Or they can buckle in for a 45-mph thrill-ride on the bobsled track, where wheels replace runners. In town, cool off with an indoor skate at the Olympic Center in town (518-523-4436), or strap on inline skates for a spin around the speed oval next door. -J.C.

DON'T MISS Rafting through dramatic Ausable Chasm-a million years in the making. Call The Ausable Co. at (518) 834-7454.

BEST DEAL Olympic Sites Passport ($16): Good for several attractions, including the jumping complex, Mt. Van Hoevenberg and the top of Whiteface. Call (800) 462-6236, or visit