Is Lake Placid Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On August 12, 2023
Lake Placid, United States
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 100 / 100 based on 2 user reviews.

Surrounded by the majestic Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York sits the charming village of Lake Placid.

With a year-round population of under 3,000, this small town offers visitors a unique blend of outdoor adventures and Olympic history.

Lake Placid first entered the spotlight in 1932 when it hosted the Winter Olympics, becoming the smallest town ever to do so.

The village welcomed the games back in 1980, cementing its status as an iconic winter sports destination.

Though decades have passed, Lake Placid’s Olympic legacy remains strong.

Tourists can still visit the speed skating oval where Eric Heiden won five gold medals or take the gondola up to the ski jumps with sweeping views.

The Olympic Center serves as an active training facility while also housing the Lake Placid Hall of Fame.

Beyond its Olympic pedigree, Lake Placid entices visitors year-round with its endless outdoor recreation.

Surprisingly, you don’t need snow to enjoy the area’s trademark winter activities.

The Mt. Van Hoevenberg Bobsled Run is open for rides down the winding track, even in summer.

Meanwhile, Whiteface Mountain attracts hardy hikers and mountain bikers with rugged trails leading to dramatic vistas.

When the snow falls, downhill skiing takes center stage as enthusiasts flock to Whiteface and nearby ski resorts.

Though small, Lake Placid offers big experiences filled with natural beauty and the Olympic spirit.

This charming mountain town shines as a year-round destination.

And despite the movie of the same name from 1999, there is no massive alligator-eating people in the lake.

NOTE: There is also a Lake Placid in Florida, and I’ve noticed that many crime reports regarding Lake Placid are actually in the Florida location.

Warnings & Dangers in Lake Placid

Overall Risk


Lake Placid has a low risk and a lot of rewards. This is a four-season outdoor destination with crime rates that shouldn't be a deterrent.

Transport & Taxis Risk


The Lake Placid Xpress is a free shuttle service that takes you to the main attractions in the region. You can also use taxis or rideshares, but those will cost standard charges. Rental cars are another great option for flexibility with your itinerary. All options have a low risk.

Pickpockets Risk


This is a low risk you can keep lowers by using standard safety precautions. You should always be more on guard in tourist areas, but no rings of pickpocket thieves are known to be in this area.

Natural Disasters Risk


Treat it with a medium risk to stay aware of the weather. The desire for snow can be a double-edged sword, with heavy snow making for great skiing but also potentially causing power outages, treacherous roads, and bitterly cold temperatures. During warmer months, severe thunderstorms, the occasional tornado, and flash flooding are issues.

Mugging Risk


Between 2021 and 2022, just one robbery was reported. It's a low risk, but no risk is low enough to stop using smart safety tactics. You still don't want to walk around at night alone in any community.

Terrorism Risk


People come to Lake Placid for its remote nature, which means it's a low risk of terrorism. Check the latest risk levels across the state by viewing the New York Department of Counterterrorism website.

Scams Risk


Scams are a low risk here, but you can keep it low by reviewing the latest Better Business Bureau and police department scam reports before your visit.

Women Travelers Risk


This is yet another low-risk, with plenty of things to do in safe spaces indoors and outdoors. The region is also safe for moms traveling with kids.

Tap Water Risk


All standards were met or exceeded in the 2022 Water Quality Report. If you want to know more about water quality risks at the lakes and rivers, check the New York Department of Environmental Conservation website.

Safest Places to Visit in Lake Placid is the official tourism site for Lake Placid in New York.

Again, watch out for websites that take you to tourism in Lake Placid, Florida.

Lake Placid, NY, will usually have a reference to “The Adirondacks” somewhere on the site.

You can also find the social media sites for Lake Placid, New York, under @lakeplacidadk.

Lake Placid is both a town and a lake, but the town of Lake Placid hugs the bottom half of Mirror Lake.

Lake Placid, the lake, is northwest of the town.

Mirror Lake covers 128 acres and is a mile long.

Electric boats can launch on the lake and there’s a public swimming beach.

Kayak and SUP rentals are available in the summer.

For outdoor enthusiasts, hiking is a popular pastime with numerous trails of varying difficulty that wind through the Adirondack forest.

Bring your mountain bike (or rent one) and ride over the rolling terrain, taking in the fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Visitors interested in history and architecture will appreciate the village’s Main Street lined with shops, restaurants, and inns housed in Victorian-style buildings.

Pop into the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, which is located in a historic former hotel.

Art lovers can browse the collection of work by regional artists at the Adirondack Artists Guild gallery.

Check for events at the Lake Placid Institute or catch a show at the Lake Placid Center for Arts.

The John Brown Farm State Historic Site preserves the 19th-century farm and grave of abolitionist John Brown.

Visitors can tour the farmhouse where Brown and his family lived from 1849 to 1855 as well as view shed exhibits about Brown’s militant anti-slavery activities.

The historic site provides insight into John Brown’s formative years in the Adirondacks prior to his famous raid on Harpers Ferry.

The Olympic sites are a must-see, including the ski jumps at the Olympic Jumping Complex and the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, where you can view artifacts and photographs from when the village hosted the Games.

For family fun, check out the Lake Placid Toboggan Chute, where you can take an exciting ride down the iced chute on a toboggan sled from the Olympic era.

In winter, horse-drawn sleigh rides are available during the day or lantern-lit in the evening.

More extreme winter sports include ice climbing, cross-country skiing, or ice fishing.

Don’t miss the High Falls Gorge, which reveals the power of nature with its scenic waterfall and suspension bridges.

Boat tours, gondola rides, rollercoasters, and zip lines round out even more things to do in this fantastic four-season destination.

Places to Avoid in Lake Placid

This is a small town of fewer than 2,300 people; you won’t find bad neighborhoods or dangerous parts of town.

The most important thing to avoid is being unprepared for the weather.

With so many winter activities to do, you have to layer your clothing properly and be prepared for winter storms.

In the summer, following the boating laws and safety regulations of swimming and boating will go a long way to a safe trip.

You want to avoid any preventable accidents.

You shouldn’t even dismiss concerns about hurricanes and tropical weather.

In 2011, what was left of Hurricane Irene parked over the Adirondacks, dumping snow that flooded rivers and devastated the region.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Lake Placid

  1. Lake Placid has its own police department. You can follow them on Twitter @LakePlacidPD. The main phone number is (518)523-3306.
  2. You also want to follow Essex County Emergency Management on Facebook @EssexCountyEmergencyServices. Sign up for Hyper-Reach notifications to get alerts on your mobile device about severe weather or dangerous safety conditions in the county.
  3. If you want the most up-to-date safety advice from police, call the Lake Placid Crime Prevention Officer at (518)523-2862 x212 or email
  4. Check the route for the free trolley so that you can plan your itinerary, but it’s helpful to know that you can flag the bus down anywhere on the route. Just wave at the bus driver, and they will pull over.
  5. Anglers will need a fishing license from the NY Department of Environmental Conservation. You must purchase that license online. Keep proof of the license with you at all times.
  6. Never drive across a flooded roadway. Not only can the water easily carry a car away with just six inches of water, history shows us in the Lake Placid region that there isn’t always a road underneath the floodwaters. Huge gaps in paved roads have been washed out in recent years.
  7. Most streets and lots in Lake Placid have overnight parking bans. That’s to let either the street sweepers or the snow plows get through. If you need to park overnight, find a parking garage, lot, or other location to park your car. You can be ticketed or towed for parking overnight.
  8. Lake Placid has rules about where bicycles and snowmobiles can ride on village streets and sidewalks. Review the rules under “Local Laws” on the police department’s website.
  9. As beautiful as the warm weather is in the Adirondacks, black flies can ruin a trip. These suckers are abundant from May through July, with most activity in the post-sunrise hours and around sunset. Bring mosquito netting, but spray, and wear as much skin-covering clothing as you can. Just be sure it’s lightweight enough that you won’t overheat on a summer day.
  10. Lake Placid events, like the annual triathlon, can cause road closures and other challenges for a trip. By signing up for the Community Highlights Insider on the tourism website, you can learn about these events, new businesses, and other community highlights closer to your trip.

So... How Safe Is Lake Placid Really?

Lake Placid is a resort destination, so every step is being taken to keep it as safe as possible for years to come.

The crime data shows a bit of a roller coaster over the pasts decade or so, with even 2022 seeing five violent crimes but 2021 having 14.

When you use the traditional formula to figure out crime “per 100,000 people,” that shows a 70% decrease in violent crime.

That number also doesn’t take into account the thousands of visitors who come each year.

It’s also important for me to note that the 14 violent crimes in 2021 were the highest number of violent crimes since 2020.

Since 2018, fewer than 20 thefts have happened each year through 2022.

Most of those were people stealing from businesses or other organizations, not pickpocketing.

You always want to use common sense, standard safety steps, and situational awareness in a tourist area.

Know the wilderness safety rules and the potential for wildlife sightings and how to react.

There’s really nothing but fun and relaxation that await you in Lake Placid, New York if you’re prepared for the weather.

How Does Lake Placid Compare?

CitySafety Index
Lake Placid82
St. Louis58
Los Angeles56
New Orleans57
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87

Useful Information



With Lake Placid being just a two-hour drive to Montreal, you'll need to know the visa and passport rules for Canada and the United States if you're visiting both countries. To enter the U.S., a visa or visa waiver and a passport are required. Canada Border Services Agency can detail the rules to enter and exit the country. Beware that former arrests for things like drunk driving can impact your ability to enter Canada.



You can only use the U.S. Dollar here; no Canadian currency will be accepted. You can exchange currency at the border if you'd like. However, your home bank will always have the lowest exchange rates. Both countries will allow you to use credit cards in the local currency denominations.



Cold and warm weather can be at the extreme here from winter to summer, so plan accordingly. Do not forget bug spray from spring through fall, or else your outdoor adventures could be miserable. Winter will require full cold-weather accessories and warm layers. Spring and fall can fluctuate but always err on the side of packing for cooler weather.



The closest commercial airport to Lake Placid is Adirondack Regional Airport, located approximately 17 miles southeast of the village in Saranac Lake. Adirondack Regional offers daily flights to and from Boston on Cape Air as well as charter service. Both Montreal (Canada) and Albany, New York, have airports two hours away with more flight options.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for your flights and rental car should be considered, but you want to look into adventure insurance if you're going skiing or doing risky adventures. Most resorts are going to make you sign a liability waiver, and all rescue or emergency treatment costs will be out of pocket without private health insurance or supplemental travel health insurance.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Lake Placid Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -9° C
Feb -8° C
Mar -3° C
Apr 5° C
May 11° C
Jun 16° C
Jul 19° C
Aug 18° C
Sep 14° C
Oct 7° C
Nov 1° C
Dec -6° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

New York - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Fair Haven75
Greenport Village78
Lake George78
Lake Placid82
Long Island83
Mt Vernon62
New Paltz79
New Rochelle77
New York City67
Niagara Falls63
Saranac Lake77
Saratoga Springs74
Seneca Falls79
Shelter Island85
Sleepy Hollow77
Watkins Glen81
White Plains77

Where to Next?

2 Reviews on Lake Placid

  1. M
    Moshe Cunningham says:

    Be alert at all times

    I’ve been here with my cousins and it was the best experience, you just have to be alert at all times because you’ll never know how danger may appear.

  2. S
    Simone Farmer says:

    Safe place!

    It is a safe place, I don’t think there are crimes made here since I lived there for 5 years straight.

Lake Placid Rated 5 / 5 based on 2 user reviews.

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