whiteface veterans' memorial highway
Taking the Whiteface Veterans' Memorial Highway to the top of Whiteface Mountain—New York's fifth-highest peak at 4,867'—isn't your typical automotive experience. How many other roads do you know that lead you directly to the summit of a mountain, with gorgeous views spanning hundreds of miles of wild land reaching as far as Vermont and Canada? Nowhere else is the beauty and vastness of the Adirondack Park so apparent and so easily accessible. The paved road rises over 2,300 feet in five miles from the Toll House. At the summit, there are a few things you don't often find atop a peak: a castle built from native stone, a restaurant and gift shop, an elevator carved deep inside the mountain top itself, and a truly spectacular 360-degree, panoramic view of unparalleled beauty. A visit to the Adirondacks is not complete without a drive to the top! This activity and many others is FREE with your Olympic Sites Passport!
A little history...
Pre-dating the ski area by about 20 years, the road to the summit was dedicated by Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1929, and opened in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Natural wildflowers grow roadside, serving as a living museum of forest ecology, all of which is built upon the over one billion year-old Anorthosite bedrock boulders. Along the way up are nine designated spots where you are encouraged to stop, enjoy the views, and discover more about the mountain surroundings from the posted information signs.
The Toll House Area
An alpine-style gatehouse constructed in 1934 and Lake Stevens—a small, pristine pond—gives the Highway its picturesque start. Named for 1932 Olympian bobsledder Hubert Stevens, Lake Stevens is stocked annually to provide fishing opportunities—particularly for children and visitors with disabilities—though its scenic beauty and picnic areas ought to be enjoyed by all. The Lake Stevens Tree Trail offers a self-guided, 10-minute walk around the pond, where you'll find many species of trees native to the northern Adirondacks.
As you make your way to the summit of Whiteface Mountain, stop to take in the spectacular scenery of the Castle Café, situated at the amazing elevation of 4,610 feet while savoring the gourmet rustic cuisine our talented chefs have prepared for you. Please note that the Castle Café and Gift Shop are not wheelchair accessible.
Castle Gift Shop
After a visit to the Castle Café be sure not to miss the Castle Gift Shop, our retail shop located in the Whiteface Castle at the top of the Veterans' Memorial Highway. Here you'll find outdoor gear for hiking, souvenirs and gifts from the Olympic Sites that will provide lasting memories of your Adirondack vacation.