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“Stellar groomed trails, impeccable hospitality, attention to detail.”

Lapland Lake Cross Country Ski Center
Ithaca, New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Stellar groomed trails, impeccable hospitality, attention to detail.”
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Whether you're a hardcore skier or just looking for tranquility in the woods, I highly recommend Lapland Lake. Over four vacations in the last three years, this understated place has worked its way into my heart, between the superb hospitality, the topnotch groomed trails, and the excellent wood-fired sauna.

The trail system is relatively modest but so superbly groomed, and the Adirondack terrain so lovely, that I would happily ski the trails repeatedly, enjoying the wind in the trees, burbling creeks, and the stunning lake (which you can ski on) surrounded by evergreens and a big sky. It's actually quite amazing how well the trails absorb guests, so that no matter how busy the place seems, I seem to have the ski trails practically to myself. Over the course of four visits, my skiing skills have markedly improved, and I've benefited from several incredibly helpful lessons (both classic and skate ski) from the unusually good instructors (a steal at $10 for a generous hour to overnight guests). The skiing is so good, including "night skiing" on illuminated trails, that there's still much I haven't taken advantage of, including snowshoeing on the property and beyond.

I've come either by myself or with my partner, and stayed in two cottages, Latu and Suksi. Families with kids seem equally content. The cottages are small and simple but remarkably well-equipped and immaculate; each well-stuffed couch begs you to take a nap, a good reading light is usually nearby, the beds are comfortable, the shower is hot and has great water pressure.

The owners and staff are consistently warm and welcoming, yet give you as much space as you desire. Their attention to detail is a hallmark of the place, so that if by chance there is something not quite right, like a broken telephone or no newspaper for the woodstove, it's tended to immediately. We've both rented and purchased ski equipment at Lapland and the customer service is excellent (we're happy with our purchases). If you stay overnight I highly recommend their local licensed massage therapist, a delightful person with vast energy and skill, who will set up her table in your cottage and give you a phenomenally effective sports massage (it did wonders with my sore muscles). Lunch on my last day was vegetarian chili with cornbread from the mini-restaurant that's right on the grounds, and just like everything, it hit the spot, as did the friendly service.

I'll end with a plug for their traditional wood-fired sauna. It's a large, hot one, available to overnight guests only. It offers a bucket of water and ladle so that you can toss water on the sauna rocks, generating steam and a little bit of heaven. Honestly, the sauna alone is worth the trip to Lapland Lake. This place is rustic, so don't expect luxury, but somehow it gets every detail right, and you'll feel right at home.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Jenna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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140 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Albany, New York
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great place to ski!”
Reviewed March 26, 2013

Fantastic place - great grooming, very accommodating, very nice people. Lots of varied terrain! Reasonable distance from Albany.

Visited March 2013
Thank catsnotkids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A cross country ski tradition”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Lapland Lake Cross Country Ski Center is the kind of place that becomes an annual tradition. You can't go to this hidden gem just once. I have returned to Lapland every year for 12 years and it never gets old. The ski trails are beautifully manicured and meander through beautiful woods, past gurgling brooks, and quiet streams. There is plenty of snowshoeing too.

Olavi (a past Finnish Olympian) grooms trails like no one else can. His wife Ann runs the office and will happily book you a tupa (cottage) rental for the weekend or help you with anything you might need. There is always a cozy fire in the lodge and home cooked meals.

If you like to ski - Lapland has to become part of your tradition too.

Visited January 2013
Thank carabineer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saratoga Springs, New York, United States
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Great Conditions, Peaceful Skiing, Friendly People”
Reviewed March 22, 2013

This was our first visit, and we picked a perfect day. The storm a few days ago brought more than a foot of new snow, and this day was mostly sunny with a very light breeze. The woods were absolutely beautiful and quiet. Yet there were only a few other skiers there. No doubt all of this influenced my rating! Not every day can be like this.

We stayed on the easiest trails, which were in great condition. One loop trail passes through evergreen woods. We found the tracks of what probably was a mink or otter, including a place where it slide down a snow-covered slope. Another trail leads to a lake where we could ski on the surface as far as desired. The trail back from the lake passed some pretty little streams, too.

Everyone we talked to at the center was very very friendly. There is a nice warming room with a fireplace. Next winter we hope to stay overnight in one of the their tupas.

Visited March 2013
Thank Wally E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White Plains, New York
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Lapland Lake”
Reviewed March 21, 2013

This was our second time at Lapland Lake Ski Center. It was wonderful! Everyone is great! The trails are very well groomed and perfect for beginners to experts. There is definitely something for everyone! The scenery along the trails was lovely! We had a ski lesson with a very skilled instructor who was skilled and very patient. We'd HIGHLY recommend Lapland Lake Cross County Ski Center as a destination!!!!!

Visited March 2013
Thank DianaM0912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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