Saturday, May 28, 2011

This Summer at Olympic Venues

The New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) will soon be re-opening the Olympic venues for the summer and fall seasons.

The Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway in Wilmington, N.Y. kicked-off the openings on May 20th. The highway allows visitors to drive to the top of the fifth-highest peak in the Adirondacks, one of only two whose summit is accessible by car. The highway is an eight-mile drive from Wilmington to the summit, where a castle made of native stone and an in-mountain elevator await. The highway is open daily from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. thru Oct. 10.
The Olympic Sports Complex, where the combined bobsled/luge/skeleton track and the 1980 Olympic bobsled track are located, begins offering tours Saturday, June 4. Tours will be available from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and guests can experience a half-mile wheeled bobsled ride with a professional driver and brakeman. Once the ride is completed guests receive a 4”x 6” photo, commemorative pin, a team gift and more. Bobsled rides will be available June 5 through Oct. 10.

Mountain biking on the cross country ski trails at the Olympic Sports Complex starts, Saturday, May 28. The venue offers over 20 miles of trails for riders from beginner to intermediate. High Peaks Cyclery runs the mountain bike center at the venue and offers lessons, rentals, and trail passes. The trails will be open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and rentals are available.

The Be a Biathlete clinics gets underway June 23 at the Olympic Sports Complex biathlon range. Participants learn the basics of the sports of biathlon, are taught gun safety, and then get to shoot a .22 caliber rifle at the same targets used during the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. This program is offered Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Olympic Jumping Complex, home to the 90-meter and 120-meter ski jump towers and the freestyle aerial training facility, is currently open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The complex offers a 26-story elevator ride to the sky deck atop the 120-meter tower for views of the Adirondacks.

The Olympic Jumping Complex is also home to the Soaring Saturdays and Wet and Wild Wednesdays jumping series. Each Saturday, beginning July 2 and running through Aug. 20, top eastern ski jumpers take to the hill in hopes of landing the longest jumps of the day. The season ends with the Flaming Leaves Festival Oct. 8-9.

Over at the freestyle aerial center, aerialists of all types launch from one of three kickers high into the air, performing twists, flips and turns before splashing down in the 750,000-gallon pool. The pool opens for the summer training season in June. The center is home to the weekly Wet ‘n Wild Wednesday aerials shows, beginning July 6 and running through Aug. 24.

Whiteface will open for the summer season, Friday, June 17. The mountain offers scenic Cloudsplitter Gondola rides which take guests to the summer of Little Whiteface. The Whiteface Mountain Bike Park offers riding for all abilities and styles. From hard core downhill, to gentle cruisers, great cross country trails and everything in between. For further mountain biking information, log on to Gondola rides and mountain biking are available daily from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. through Sept. 5.

Whiteface also offers an hour and a half nature trek to the beautiful Stag Brook Falls, departing the base lodge each day at 10:30 a.m., also beginning June 17.

The guided hike of Bear Den Mountain at Whiteface is also available this summer. The hikes are every Wednesday at 10 a.m., beginning in July and include a High Sierra hydration pack with a packed lunch. The Bear Den Mountain Hike showcases the flora and fauna during the three-and-a-half-hour guided tour to the summit.

Rounding out the Whiteface summer offering is disc golf, offered daily, starting June 17. The nine-hole course utilizes the lower portion of Whiteface meandering on some of the mountain’s favorite trails including Lower Valley, Round About, Boreen, Mixing Bowl and many more.

The Olympic Center is celebrating the 79th Anniversary of the Summer Skating Program. In addition to being named “The Best Summer Skating Camp for Kids” by Sports Illustrated For Kids magazine, the Olympic Center also offers basic skills lessons, hockey power skating classes, and hosts the weekly skating shows, including Freaky Friday and Saturday Night ice shows.

Visitors can enjoy many of these activities for one low price, when purchasing the Olympic Sites Passport. The Passport gives guests access to everyone of ORDA’s Olympic venues—from Whiteface to the Olympic Sports Complex and everything in between for just $29. The Olympic Sites Passport can be purchased by stopping into the ORDA Store, or through the Olympic Center’s box office. The Passports saves time, money and gets you into the venues at a good value.

For more information on ORDA and its Olympic venues, log on to

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

One Response

  1. Anonymous says:

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