By taking the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway to the top of Whiteface Mountain, you get a chance to drive by car or motorcycle to New York's fifth-highest peak at 4,867 feet. And if you're ambitious enough and looking for the fitness challenge, you may also cycle the paved road to the summit. To begin the 5-mile scenic journey (2,300 ft ascent) to the parking area at the top, you will first have to make a stop at the alpine-style gatehouse built in 1934 to pay your entry fee.
Along the way, there are several pull-off areas to park and get out to get a better look at the views. Once reaching the summit area, you'll be directed to a parking spot and from there you'll have the option of walking to the official summit (takes about 15 minutes) or taking a ride via an elevator that is built into the mountain itself. The elevator option is handicap accessible and can be reached by walking down a 426-foot tunnel to reach the base of the elevator. The attendant working then shuttles those riding the elevator up 276 feet to the official summit. The summit area offers spectacular 360-degree views, so on clear days, you can easily see way off in the distance to Vermont and even Canada.
Near the parking area, there's also the Whiteface Castle (built from native stone) that includes a restaurant, gift shop, and restrooms. This is also right next to the beginning of the walkway to the summit.
Officially opened in 1936, the summit highway pre-dated the ski area by nearly 20 years. To read more into the history of the highway construction, you can read this article here.
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