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.
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