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[ Fri, 2009-10-09 15:05 ]
Rip Van Winkle at Hunter Mountain
Hunter Mountain welcomes a new summit-top fixture

A lifesize sculpture of local legend Rip Van Winkle is finally finished, and will be unveiled in a mountaintop ceremony at the summit of Hunter Mountain, N.Y., the sculpture's new home. It's taken artist Kevin VanHentenryck over 14 years to complete—only seven fewer than the fictitious Rip himself allegedly slept atop a Catskills mountain in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War.

Flight School

Flight School
Windham Mountain Airbag
Catch big air with a soft landing at Windham Mountain

Even if the economy doesn’t have a soft landing this winter, you’re guaranteed one at New York’s Windham Mountain, home of North America’s only Big Air Bag. Measuring 56 by 33 feet, the crash pad is an aerial training tool—but is open to anyone with moxie. For first-timers or the faint-hearted, the biggest worry isn’t the amplitude of the jump or even the landing, but rather carrying enough speed off the kicker so as not to undershoot the gigantic pillow, which reliably catches whatever falls from the sky.

Lake Placid Lodge

Lake Placid Lodge

This grand Adirondack landmark on the shore of its namesake lake isn’t exactly new. Built in the late 1800s as a private camp, the lodge was sold and transformed into a hotel in 1946. In 2005, a kitchen fire destroyed the main building, and in 2008 it rose anew, more luxurious and refined than ever. The 30,000-square-foot lodge has 13 new suites, each with a king featherbed, stone fireplace and private balcony. The dining room is also new, headed by Culinary Institute of America–trained chef Kevin McCarthy, who gathers seasonal ingredients from farmers living within a 70-mile radius to craft simple but robust fare. No worries: You’ll burn it off on Whiteface’s 3,166 feet of vertical, 20 minutes away.

$650–$1,550

lakeplacidlodge.com

Luxurious and refined with a rich history

This grand Adirondack landmark on the shore of its namesake lake isn’t exactly new. Built in the late 1800s as a private camp, the lodge was sold and transformed into a hotel in 1946. In 2005, a kitchen fire destroyed the main building, and in 2008 it rose anew, more luxurious and refined than ever. The 30,000-square-foot lodge has 13 new suites, each with a king featherbed, stone fireplace and private balcony.

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