Lake Placid 1932 & 1980 Olympic Bobsled Track
Don't Miss This When Visiting
Today, the track no longer hosts international competitions, but it remains in use. Summer bobsled rides are held on the course, where visitors can enjoy half-mile rides, reaching speeds in excess of 50-miles-per-hour, with professional drivers steering their sleds. Bobsled rides have been a continuous part of the track’s operations since it first opened, Christmas 1930.
Lake Placid’s 1932 and 1980 Olympic bobsled track officially become a part of the National Register of Historic Places during a plaque unveiling ceremony, Monday, July 12, 2010 which was attended by The Honorable David Paterson while he was in office.
The original one-and-a-half mile long track at Mt. Van Hoevenberg was completed in Dec. 1930, in time for the 1932 Olympic Winter Games, and since that time has played a significant role in the sport of bobsled’s history. It was during those games that Olympic two-man racing was introduced as well as the push start.
In 1934, the International Bobsled Federation (FIBT) established a one-mile standard for all tracks. To accommodate the change, the top one-half mile was shut down above the Whiteface curve and the number of curves was reduced from 26 to 16, making the upper portion of the run unusable.
The 1,537-meter long course has also hosted five world championship races (1949, 1969, 1973, 1978, 1983) and one more Olympic event, in 1980. The 1949 Worlds also marked the first time a track outside of Europe had hosted that event.
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
Related Sites Or Experiences
The combined bobsled, luge and skeleton track - the only one east of the Rockies - has been home to several Bobsled/Skeleton and Luge World Championship, as well as, annual World Cup competitions.
Suggested Further Reading
For other listings and more information about the National Register of Historic Places, log on to www.nps.gov/nr.