The greater North Conway and Mount Washington Valley region is adorned by glacial lakes carved by slow moving ice, fed by natural springs and rolling rivers that ramble down the mountain side from cascading snow covered summits. From water-skiing to kayaking, fishing and swimming in the warmer months, to ice skating and ice fishing in the winter, the regional lakes offer year-round activity for all to enjoy. Below is a listing of popular lakes, from above tree-line on the ridge of the Presidential Range to the valley below.
Echo Lake is prominently located at the base of White Horse ledges in North Conway. This family oriented lake is marked off with a swimming area during the summer and is supervised by an on-site lifeguard. The lake offers a sandy shore with majestic view of the White Horse and Cathedral Ledge’s granite faces towering from above. And if the lake is quiet, you will see the water reflect the natural scenery … nature’s camera.
Directions: Take Route 16 N. into North Conway. Turn left at the light just past Eastern Slope Inn Resort onto Westside Road. Cross First Bridge over the Saco River, and take second road on left. Echo Lake will be on the right.
Through the years, Conway Lake has been a source for recreation. There is one public beach located off of Mill Street in Conway. The lake has one public campground, Cove Camping Area, which is located in the Eaton portion of the lake. The lake is utilized for swimming, boating, canoeing, and fishing. Sokoki Indian relics and artifacts have been unearthed on the north shore of the lake. The findings suggest the north shore area was a Sokoki village.
Conway Lake was formerly known as Walker’s Pond. At the northern edge of the lake on Mill Street there is a park by that name that comprises the Conway Lake Dam and original mill site. In 1773, 100 acres was granted to Captain Timothy Walker by the town of Conway to build a sawmill and gristmill.
It was not until the coming of the train tracks in 1865 that the mills started to prosper. At that time logs were floated over Conway Lake for processing before being hauled off by freight car to Portsmouth and other places. Together with the nearby granite from Redstone, the mills on Mill Street were responsible for producing wood for several train stations in New England.
Directions: From North Conway, head South on the North/South Road, turning left at the traffic light onto route 302. Turn right onto Mill Street, Town Beach on right.
LAKE of THE CLOUDS
More of a pond than a lake. However, due to its unique location just off from Crawford Path at the Lake of The Clouds Hut on the Presidential Range, is Lake of The Clouds. Situated between the summit of Mount Washington and Mount Monroe.
Directions: From North Conway, head North on Route 16 to Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. Access the Tuckerman Ravine trail, traveling past Hermit Lake Shelter, up the Ravine to the Crawford Path intersect. Head Southwest (away from the summit of Mount Washinton) to Lake of the Clouds Hut. Lake of the Clouds is on your left.
Chocorua Lake is the most serene and stunning lake set along Route 16. Reflected off the smooth glasslike waters are the mountains that set the most perfect backdrop. Known as one of the most photographed mountains in the United States, Mt. Chocorua is absolutely breathtaking.
Directions: From North Conway, head South on Route 16 toward Tamworth. Lake Chocorua is on the right. Make sure to follow the dirt road to the bridge to take in the captivating view of Mount Chocorua from the bridge.