Adirondack Sleigh Rides: A sleigh ride overlooking the High Peaks

Travis DeValinger of The Equine Center has a team of Belgians hitched to the sleigh, ready for a trip around the Lake Placid Club Golf Course. A group gathers around while the horses are rested and watered. Travis takes this time to explain some basic information to those of us not in the horsey-know. Children stand around with mouths open as they watch these mammoth-sized animals gently nuzzle Travis for attention. He then explains the workings of the custom-made sleigh and lantern-lit options available to carry us over the golf course and back.

The 40-minute sleigh ride takes us over areas of the Crowne Plaza Resort and Golf Club of Lake Placid and through a wooded area. The ride goes at a quick clip while we identify the Sentinel Range, Cascade, and glimpses of the Adirondack High Peaks. The air is crisp but blankets ward off the chill. The sound of plodding hooves and the rocking sleigh is peaceful.

The team rests again at the top of a knoll (or some type of golf trap buried deep under the snow) and we are awed by the panoramic view.

Travis and Natalia DeValinger of The Equine Center operate their organization out of two locations, the village of Lake Placid and near Ausable Chasm. The year-round business includes sleigh, carriage and trail rides, boarding of horses, lessons and a summer youth horse camp full of activities.

Their business allows them to take care of their passion, which is horse rescue. According to the Equine Center most of their horses have been saved from the New Holland Auction Stables, the largest kill auction east of the Mississippi. Natalia and Travis nurse the rescued horses back to heath, giving some a permanent home while assuring others go to a good adopted home.

Located on Route 86 in Lake Placid, the sleigh rides are open from afternoon to early evening. Travis says that he does extend hours for private rides and special occasions like “engagements” because he knows those moments need to have a special setting.

Reservations are recommended (518-834-9933) but drop-ins are welcome. Sleigh rides are priced at $42/cash or $45/credit for adults (13 and up), and children are at a significant discount. For the month of March, The Equine Center is running a local special of 35% off with proof of residency (a driver’s license or utility bill) Please call for the exact details. Enjoy!


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