Echo Lake State Park

North Conway, New Hampshire
Echo Lake State Park in North Conway, New Hampshire is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts to swim, hike, fish, relax, and more.
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About This Location

Echo Lake State Park, located in North Conway, New Hampshire, is a splendid destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The park spans 15.7 acres and centers around the serene Echo Lake, surrounded by the imposing rock ledges of Cathedral Ledge and White Horse Ledge. A variety of recreational activities are available, making it an ideal spot for both relaxation and adventure. Visitors can partake in swimming, hiking, non-motorized boating, picnicking, and fishing. A one-mile trail encircles Echo Lake, offering a picturesque walk with breathtaking views of the adjacent ledges.

Cathedral Ledge and White Horse Ledge, each unique in its charm, beckon to explorers and adventure seekers. Cathedral Ledge, with an elevation of 1,159 feet, can be reached via a mile-long auto road or hiking trails, rewarding visitors with panoramic vistas of the Saco River Valley and the majestic White Mountains. The summit of Cathedral Ledge faces eastward, granting spectacular views across the valley. Both ledges can also be accessed through hiking trails, and for the daring, rock climbers ascend these rocky faces and rappel into the valley, while winter mountaineering enthusiasts practice their skills seasonally. The park remains a favored destination for rock and ice climbing, attracting enthusiasts from near and far.

Echo Lake State Park’s rich history includes a heartwarming tale of preservation. In 1899, a group of 22 visitors and residents rallied to raise $1,000 to purchase the land on which Cathedral Ledge stands. A year later, a similar endeavor was accomplished for White Horse Ledge. These parcels of land were generously deeded to the state, ensuring their protection and preservation. In 1943, the park faced a potential threat of commercial development around the lake. However, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests collaborated with the state to raise funds and secure the property, ultimately safeguarding it for future generations. Today, both Cathedral Ledge and White Horse Ledge fall within the boundaries of Echo Lake State Park, under its care and protection.

The park’s operating hours are subject to seasonal changes. It is open on weekends from Memorial Day and daily from late June to Labor Day, with gates closing at 8:00 pm. The park does not permit camping, but there are camping facilities available at two other state parks in the area. Entrance fees apply during certain seasons, with adults (12 and over) at $4, children (6-11) at $2, and seniors (over 65) and children under 5 are free of charge.

Echo Lake State Park remains open for recreation throughout the year unless otherwise posted. However, during off-hours and the off-season, the park is typically unstaffed, and comfort stations are not available. Visitors are urged to exercise caution, as outdoor recreational activities pose unique risks during these times. It is essential for recreationists to possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and equipment to ensure their safety, as they assume all risks while enjoying the natural beauty of State Park lands.

Location

Address: 68 Echo Lake Road, Conway, New Hampshire
Place GPS Coordinates: 44.054694, -71.160139
Parking GPS Coordinates: 44.054694, -71.160139
Parking Notes: There is a decent size parking lot at Echo Lake State Park located just a few feet from the lake itself, but it does fill up quickly on summer days. Visitors are able to book reservations in advance to secure a parking spot. Fees are charged to park at Echo Lake State Park. It is $4 for adults and $2 for children.

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