DoNorth

A Sneak Peek Through the Peaks

Living in the Adirondacks, I knew I’d inevitably come across some breathtaking views. I’ve hiked various mountains in the North Country, but I’d never seen a view quite like the one offered by the Adirondack Flying Service and their scenic flights located in Lake Placid. For approximately $55 per person and a promise to see the stunning scenery of the Adirondacks from a different perspective, how could I resist? The plane raced down the runway of the Lake Placid Airport, and soon we were soaring over Mirror Lake. The colors from fall still radiated, but an early October snowfall covered…

peaks

The colors from fall still radiated as the plane soared above the High Peaks. Photo by Seth Thomas

Living in the Adirondacks, I knew I’d inevitably come across some breathtaking views. I’ve hiked various mountains in the North Country, but I’d never seen a view quite like the one offered by the Adirondack Flying Service and their scenic flights located in Lake Placid. For approximately $55 per person and a promise to see the stunning scenery of the Adirondacks from a different perspective, how could I resist?

The plane raced down the runway of the Lake Placid Airport, and soon we were soaring over Mirror Lake. The colors from fall still radiated, but an early October snowfall covered the peak of Mount Marcy. Nearly all seasons of the year were represented thousands of feet up in the air. The yellow propeller plane hummed through the clouds as we flew over the High Peaks. My nerves were eradicated once I realized how peaceful this experience was. It was the most tranquil 20-minute plane ride I could ever imagine being on.

For most of us, this is quite the opportunity. But for Phil Blinn, flying planes is his job. Flying in the Adirondacks since he was 12 with over 10,000 flying hours, Blinn knows the area from a bird’s eye view. The Adirondack Flying Service has offered the scenic flights for the past 45 years. “If you’re new to the area and you’ve never seen the High Peaks at all,” Blinn says, “this is the best way to see it.”

I’ve seen the Adirondack landscapes driving on the Northway and hiking mountains such as Poke-O-Moonshine and Cascade Mountain, but Blinn is right: The view above the mountains has been the best yet. Instead of being surrounded by trees, you’re surrounded by clouds. Sometimes hiking is not an option for the less experienced outdoorsman, especially when snow and ice make for terrible climbing conditions. This is the benefit of the Adirondack Flying Service. These scenic flights are offered year-round as long as the runway is safe enough for takeoff.

“If you’re new to the area and you’ve never seen the High Peaks at all, this is the best way to see it.”

There are three different tours visitors can choose from: the High Peaks, Olympics, and Lakes. The High Peaks tour flies over Haystack Mountain, Algonquin Mountain and Mount Marcy, the tallest in New York state at 5,344 feet. Want to see the history of the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics but don’t want to go to a museum? Fly over the bobsled-luge, Olympic Center and Whiteface ski slopes during the Olympics tour. Their lake tour flies over several bodies of water including Mirror Lake, Lake Placid and Middle and Upper Saranac Lakes.

The Adirondack Flying Service also offers customized flights. Just call ahead of time and let them know what you’re interested in seeing. Blinn and the other pilots are accommodating and love showing off the beauty of the area. Passengers are given headsets to communicate with the pilot, so they can hear the history that accompanies these rock structures over the loud, humming propeller as it chops through the wind.

You’re bound to take something more than just spectacular views with the knowledge provided from the pilots. So get comfortable, fasten your seatbelt and get ready for takeoff. If you look to your right, you’ll see the High Peaks from a perspective you’ve never seen them before.

Issue 5: Summer/Fall 2015

0 comments Show discussion Hide discussion

Add a comment

More in Features