Cangoose, I asked what route you’re coming on from Toronto because the new museum of natural history is located in Tupper Lake just off route 3 so you could visit on the way to Lake Placid or on the way from Saranac Lake back to Toronto. Plan on spending a few hours there. Very interesting place and there are walking trails. Did you ever visit Paul Smith Visitor Center? This is a wonderful place to spend at least a half day since miles of trails can keep you busy too. Close to Saranac Lake
I don’t think I would suggest another route to Lake Placid. Route 3 should be very colorful next weekend. I like this road almost any time of the year.
My suggestion for traveling from Lake Placid to Burlington would be to take route 86 through Wilmington
If it is a nice day you may want to take a gondola ride at Whiteface. Or my personal preference is to take a drive to the top of Whiteface Mountain on a clear day. The views from the top are spectacular. It is a toll road and I think it costs now $9.00 for a car and a driver.
Anyway, to get to the road turn left once you are at the 4-way intersection in Wilmington.
After your visit , return to Wilmington and at the intersection continue straight to Jay and AuSable Forks. There are some charming back roads but I would need to take a drive to give you numbers or names officially used. I don’t need to recommend AuSable Chasm since you already know this place but if decide to take the ferry from Port Kent to Burlington you‘ll be driving by. It is a beautiful ride in October and in 1-hour it takes you directly to Burlington. www.ferries.com. They even take reservations for this ferry crossing.
You got some great suggestions from a number of generous posters on scenic drives in Vermont. Since you’ll be driving on route 4 west from Woodstock, VT to Saranac Lake, NY you may want to take route 4 all the way to Whitehall, NY. From there take route 22 North via Ticonderoga where 22 connects with 9N until Westport. Westport is a charming little town beautifully located on the lake. There a couple of very good places to have a lunch or dinner. If you decide to have a lunch at Westport Hotel just across railroad tracks is a train station which is also a home to a professional theatre, Depot Theatre, there are not going to be any plays in October but there is an art exhibit and building itself is very interesting. Once in Westport make sure to follow route 9N to Elizabethtown (E-town). Route 22 continue north to Essex, NY. Take route 9N and when you get to E-town at the intersection with route 9 you will be directed to turn left in order to continue on route 9N. Do NOT make this turn. Continue straight through intersection. You are now on Water Street. It is a short street but if your timing is right the fall foliage is going to take your breath away. Don’t be disappointed if it is too early or too late. Let’s hope you are going to see all those big old maple trees covered with any imaginable fall colors, all shades of red, orange, yellow and anything in between. Continue on Water Street to T-section where you turn right. You are back on route 9N. A few miles down the road you’ll pass a parking for Hurricane Mountain. The parking is on a left side but trails starts on the right side of route 9N. Beautiful long and demanding hike. Continue on 9N and watch out for a small sign on the left side of route 9N for Baxter Mountain. Not many parking spaces there but if you want great views and a short hike then do not miss this one. It is really a short hike with views almost of all High Peaks. After your hike continue down on 9N until you get to intersection with route 73. Turn right, this road is going to take you all the way to Lake Placid where at the light you need to turn left on 86 to Saranac Lake.
There is another short hike with great views along route 73 once you pass Keene and after you noticed route 9N veers to the right. A couple miles, more or less, on the left side you’ll see a sign or may not be even there, for a hike to Owl‘s Head. However there are not many side roads on the left side so if you see a Owl’s Head street sign turn there and shortly you get to a parking lot. Another great views but very short hike.
These are my suggestions for tonight. Have a great trip