Canoeing -- It's rare to find a stretch of water reserved solely for non-motorized boats, but the St. Regis Canoe Wilderness beckons with the promise of quiet. In fact, the only sounds you'll hear in this remote part of the park are birdcalls and the sound of your paddle as it slices through the water. Just be prepared to carry your canoe: There are lots of portages here. But whether you're interested in one day on the water or a weeklong trip, you can get outfitted, with or without a guide. St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, 73 Dorsey St., Saranac Lake (tel. 888/SRKAYAK or 518/891-1838; www.canoeoutfitters.com), can set you up with canoe and kayak rentals, guided trips, and camping-gear rentals. Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters, 541 Lake Flower Ave., Saranac Lake (tel. 800/491-0414; www.adirondackoutfitters.com), is another great place for canoeing advice and/or rentals; it offers a wealth of self-guided and guided trips.
Cross-Country Skiing -- Just outside Lake Placid, Mount Van Hoevenberg X-C Center at the Olympic Sports Complex, Route 73 (tel. 518/523-2811), is where Olympic athletes train; trail fees are $18 per day and equipment rental is available. Dewey Mountain Ski Center, Route 3, just outside Saranac Lake (tel. 518/891-2697; www.deweyskicenter.com), is another fun place to explore. Hard-core skiers up for a challenge can head into the backcountry and take on the Jack Rabbit Trail. Pick up the trail (and any equipment you need) at the Cascade Cross Country Center, on Route 73, 5 miles from Lake Placid (tel. 518/523-9605). Don't miss the full moon parties, from January to March, when the trails are set with bonfires, and hot chocolate, beer, and hot dogs are served.
Downhill Skiing -- Whiteface, Route 86, Wilmington (tel. 877/SKI-FACE or 518/946-2223; www.whiteface.com), is the East's only Olympic mountain (elevation 4,400 ft.) and has the best skiing in the state. With the greatest vertical drop in the East (3,430 ft.), it has a variety of terrain that will appeal to all levels. In fact, 20% of the trails are rated for novices. There are 80 trails and 11 lifts in all. A 1-day lift ticket costs $74 to $79. Mount Pisgah, Mt. Pisgah Road, Saranac Lake (tel. 518/891-0970; www.saranaclake.com/pisgah.shtml), is decidedly less Olympic, and good skiers will get bored here; with only five trails, it's a nice hill for beginners and families. It also boasts a fun tubing hill. Lift tickets cost just $15 to $20.
Fly-Fishing -- The Ausable River offers tumbles and flows, twists and turns, and a pristine environment to cast your line. The village of Wilmington, about a 20-minute drive northeast from Lake Placid, is your headquarters. World-renowned fisherman Fran Betters and the guides at his Adirondack Sport Shop, Route 86, Wilmington (tel. 518/946-2605; www.adirondackflyfishing.com), know the waters as well as anyone. A day out with the guides will run you $195 per day, including lunch and a box of flies.
Flying -- Soar high over the treetops and peer down at the mountain peaks on a scenic flight with Adirondack Flying Service, Lake Placid Airport, Route 73, Lake Placid (tel. 518/523-2473; www.flyanywhere.com). A 20-minute flight, any time of year, is $40 per person (two-person minimum); family discounts are available.
Golf -- There are lots of places to tee up in this part of the park. The Whiteface Club & Resort, Whiteface Inn Lane, Lake Placid (tel. 518/523-2551; www.whitefaceclubresort.com), was rated four stars by Golf Digest; greens fees are $85 and club rental is available. Or hit the links at a municipal par-72 course, the Craig Wood Golf Course, Route 73, Lake Placid (tel. 877/999-9473; www.craigwoodgolfclub.com). Greens fees May to June, $28; July to November, $34; add $32 for a cart.
Hiking -- Everyone wants to climb the Adirondacks' highest peak, Mount Marcy, and its 5,344 feet of rock. On summer weekends, the paths can seem more like midtown Manhattan than wilderness. The most popular (and crowded) approach is from the north, but the more scenic and less busy route (and also the most demanding) is the Range Trail. The trail is about 12 miles, and very steep in some places. The hike starts from a parking lot off Route 73 in the center of Keene Valley; there's a small parking fee. High Falls Gorge, 8 miles east of Lake Placid on Route 86 (tel. 518/946-2278; www.highfallsgorge.com), affords a beautiful stroll along the Ausable River, past 700 feet of waterfalls in summer or winter. You'll cross bridges and follow trails as the water spills over ancient granite cliffs. Admission in winter is $13.50 for adults, $9.50 for kids 4 to 12; summer is $10.50 for adults, $7.50 for kids. To take a guided hiking tour, talk to the folks at High Peaks Mountain Adventures Guide Service, 2733 Main St., Lake Placid (tel. 518/523-3764).
Ice-Skating -- Skate on the same rink where Eric Heiden won his record five gold medals in 1980. Lake Placid's Olympic Center on Main Street (tel. 518/523-1655) gets you onto the outdoor rink in winter nightly from 7 to 9pm for $7. On summer weeknights, you can skate indoors at the 1932 arena where Sonja Henie won Olympic Gold ($6). Skate rentals are $3.
Rafting -- Nothing quite beats the rush of white-water rafting, especially when the water is high from snow runoff in the spring. Adirondack Rafting Company (tel. 800/510-RAFT or 518/523-1635; www.lakeplacidrafting.com) provides everything you need for a guided run of the Hudson River Gorge. The water is Class IV and V in April and May, when trips run on weekends only, and Class III June through August, when trips run Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Fall foliage runs are on the weekends in September. For a low-key raft ride, plus a walk along nature trails through primeval Adirondack forest, check out Ausable Chasm on Route 9, 12 miles south of Plattsburgh (tel. 518/834-7454; www.ausablechasm.com). It expanded the "Rim Walk" by 2 miles in 2006; walking the entire rim and peering down into the chasm is pretty spectacular. The entrance fee is $16 for adults, $9 for kids 5 to 12, and free for children under 5; the raft ride (weather permitting) is $10 for everyone.
Touring Lake Champlain -- Unfortunately, the tour boat that left from Plattsburgh is no more, but fortunately, you can still paddle the lake yourself in search of eagles. Rent kayaks (and powerboats) from Westport Marina, 20 Washington St., Westport (tel. 518/962-4356; www.westportmarina.com).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.