LAKE PLACID - The recent spring like weather - sunshine and temperatures in the mid-60s - beckoned walkers, joggers and dog owners alike outdoors, a number of whom could be found along the Mirror Lake Walkway.
The walkway consists of a wide, red brick sidewalk, which features no steep grades, that encompasses Mirror Lake to make a 2.7 mile loop that takes one from the lake's beach to a more residential area and then finally to the hustle and bustle of Main Street.
"It's a beautiful walk, a pretty walk," said Ernie Stretton, former superintendent of the Lake Placid School District. "It's nice to see the village and see the people active."
This is just one of the many scenic vistas along the Mirror Lake walk.
Photos/Margaret Moran/Lake Placid News
From the shores of the Mirror Lake Beach, buildings along Main Street can be seen nestled among trees with peaks rising in the distance as well as the densely tree-lined shores of the northern and eastern banks of the lake.
"It's beautiful, but to tell you the truth, living here we sometimes don't appreciate it (the scenery) enough," said Iris Havlicek, of Lake Placid.
But Havlicek does take notice of it during her regular walks around Mirror Lake.
"It's different every day," she said. "It really is. If you really look, you'll see the grassy knoll is grassy (now) and it looks like the lake is starting to melt."
Indeed, puddles of water could be seen on the lake's frozen surface as well as on the sidewalk from the melting snow and ice with the water runoff trickling into street grates.
"It's actually quiet walking around the lake," said Ashley Hoogkamp, owner of Ashley's Cafe, who was out walking around the lake with her young son in a stroller. "It puts him right to sleep."
As I made my way along the loop, I noticed how peaceful it was with the sounds of water flowing, the chirping and cawing of birds and the occasional rumbling of engines as vehicles drove past on the street.
The sidewalk had its own soundtrack, too, with the rhythmic slapping of feet hitting the red brick, the jiggle jaggle of dog tags as man and man's best friend went past, and the greeting of "Hi, how are you?" to fellow passerby's.
"It's wonderful," Stretton said about the lake loop. "You meet people you know and talk to folks."
Even complete strangers were willing to stop and chat with me for a few minutes, while others smiled in acknowledgment or said "Hi" in passing.
"We see different people every day (on the loop)," said Mickey Wells, of Lake Placid, who was accompanied by Ed Decker, also of Lake Placid. But he noted that they see regulars, as well.
Regulars such as Patricia Clark, of Lake Placid.
"I walk around the lake almost every day at 6 a.m., unless it's below zero," she said. "Zero is my cutoff.
Wells and Decker also walk around the lake every day, no matter what the weather is.
"We usually walk rain or shine, snow, sleet, like a mailman," Wells said.
Their main motivator being the exercise the walk provides them.
"It's good for our health," Wells said.
Autumn Serino, of Lake Placid, said she walks around the lake "first and foremost for the exercise."
"I feel good after I do it," she said.
Alissa Phillips, of Oswego, was out walking around the lake with her golden retriever, Blake, on Monday to stretch their legs after a four-hour car trip to the area.
"It's a nice little walk to get out," she said. "We've done it four or five times (during our stays here), but we like to hike the High Peaks, but this is perfect if you just want to get outside and not do anything crazy."
After completing the loop, I wasn't tired or exhausted at all. Then again, I was walking at a leisurely pace. Should someone need a minute to rest along the way, there are grey stone benches placed at regular intervals where one can sit.
Also located along the route are plastic bag dispensers so people can pick up after their dog as well as garbage cans so trash can be disposed of properly.
"This is one of the best secrets in the North Country - walking around the lake," Stretton said.
Contact Margaret Moran at 518-523-4401 or at firstname.lastname@example.org