Saranac Lake Ice Palace

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Saranac Lake Ice Palace

So our Travel Tuesday trip to see the Saranac Lake Ice Castle didn't go as planned but ANY day you get to travel in the ADK is a good day right?

The crazy warm weather caused the castle to deteriorate and so it was closed. However, they are working on repairing it and are monitoring things closely - safety being paramount for them, as it should be.

Saranac Lake Ice Palace

That being said - we went to Lake Placid and had a nice lunch at Wyatt's Tex Mex. We drove to Wilmington and stopped at several places along the way just to take it all in.

My husband and I typically work 6-7 days a week. We've been selfishly taking Travel Tuesdays off to venture around this awesome place we live in and then share what we see and learn with you.

Saranac Lake Ice Castle

Today I learned about the history of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival and the Ice Castle/Palace including these fun facts.

  1. The palace dates back to 1898 and used to be so large they called it a fortress.
  2. Back in the day it was built on Slater Hill (currently North Country Community College) - holy cow!!
  3. Ice castles up through 1924 were disassembled and the ice was shipped down and sold in NYC.
  4. Now castles are no longer shipped to NYC but knocked down and left to melt.
  5. There were no ice castles built from 1925 - 1955.
  6. When the castle returned in 1956, it was smaller and moved to Lake Flower.
  7. 1985's castle titled "Magic Kingdom" weighed an astounding 1,440,000 pounds!
  8. Castles are built using 2,000 - 4,000 2X4 blocks of ice that can measure up to 30 ft wide X 90 ft long X 60 ft wide.
  9. It takes an average of 2 weeks to build the castle.
  10. Saranac Lake native and Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau has designed the pin for the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival every year since 1981.

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

People want to get upset about the castle being closed this year and on one hand I get that, but on the other hand, there's not much you can do about the weather conditions. Know they are doing their best with the conditions they've been given and that's really all you can ask.

Saranac Lake Ice Palace

NOTE: For updated conditions of the castle, please go to Saranac Lake Winter Carnival FB page.

Most years everything works as it should and then sometimes it doesn't. We take what we can and move on.

Saranac Lake Ice Palace

Personally, I'm in awe of the volunteers who work in shifts around the clock to build the castle year after year. They give their time freely and do so in addition to working around their paying jobs and family obligations.

What an amazing endeavor to undertake! How many countless memories have they helped make possible for the rest of us over the years?

So instead of complaining about the castle conditions this year, let's instead post about memories made from past years. Here is one of mine...

Saranac Lake Ice Castle

Life in the ADK

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