35-Cool Cliffs – Echo Lake SP

Echo Lake – the name sort of says it all doesn’t it?  This one certainly lives up to its name, with the dramatic cliffs of White Horse Ledge just to the west.

The beach at Echo Lake.

This state park has a funny tweezer shape, comprising Echo Lake with its beach and picnic area, and two remarkable mountaintops, Cathedral Ledge and White Horse Ledge.  A narrow strip of land containing a hotel bisects the two parts but fortunately, as you can see from the roof just visible in the photo above, the visual impact isn’t as bad as it might be.  I chose to start my visit on the ledges, and conveniently there’s a road that leads to the top of the smaller one.

There’s an auto road to the top of Cathedral Ledge.

Looking north from Cathedral Ledge.

The views from the top are certainly worth the visit and if that was all the time you had, just getting here would be good enough.

Cathedral Ledge view.

But I planned to take advantage of the trails too, taking the White Horse Ledge Trail to, well I guess you can figure that one out, and then returning via the Bryce Path.

Towards White Horse Ledge & Echo Lake.

White Horse Ledge.

The trail heads to the top of WH Ledge, then descends and circles around to near the lake, where the Bryce Path ascends back up to Cathedral Ledge, (and my car).

View north from White Horse Ledge.

More views from White Horse Ledge.

This was early November so there wasn’t much color left unless you looked really carefully.

Mountaintop color

Fall’s last colors – this is November!

Consequently the trails were rather slippery, with lots of loose leaves waiting to be packed down by hikers or snow.  The Bryce Path looked like it could use some TLC as it was deteriorating on some of the steepest patches.  Many of the other trails looked to be well-maintained by mountain bike groups.

The ledges from Echo Lake.

There are nice trails in both parts of the park, so I returned to the lake and hiked around it – about a mile.  It was deserted now but I’m sure it’s popular in the summer.

Echo Lake with Cathedral Ledge & the beach.

All in all, Echo Lake Park is a little gem in the popular tourist town of North Conway.  If you’ve had enough of shopping (in my case that doesn’t take long) it’s a great place to head for a little R&R.  Nearby is the popular (and handicapped-accessible) waterfall called Diana’s Baths and I’ll include a few pictures from there just to whet your appetite!

Happy travels!

Diana’s Baths – North Conway NH

Sculpted granite at Diana’s Baths.

More of Diana’s Baths.

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One response to “35-Cool Cliffs – Echo Lake SP

  1. Pingback: Far From the Madding Crowd – North Moat Mtn Loop | The Park Explorer·

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