Echo Lake, New Hampshire, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - New Hampshire - White Mountains -

He reaches as far above him as he can, searching for a finger hold that will let him pull himself up the cliff face soaring over Echo Lake. Below him, surrounded by the majesty of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the lake shines in the sun. Maybe after he finishes his climb he can take a dip in the lake’s cool, clear water. Perhaps he could hike around the lake and down the trail to Diana’s Bath, a collection of clean pools and waterfalls – but first he has to make it to the top.

At 31 surface acres and with a maximum depth of ten feet, Echo Lake is a small, relatively shallow lake. The lake is entirely surrounded by the Echo Lake State Park, so there is not any residential development on the lake’s shore. There are, however, vacation rentals with a view of the lake and within easy walking distance. The state park has a swimming beach and bath house, and the lake’s sandy bottom and shoreline picnic area make it popular with families. Echo Lake is classified as oligotrophic which means its water is very clean and clear and will support fewer but generally larger fish. Anglers will find healthy populations of both lake trout and rainbow trout to challenge them. A small boat launch for car top boats provides access to the lake. With the cliffs and ledges climbing almost out of the shore, it is a beautiful lake to explore by canoe or kayak.

Towering 700 feet above Echo Lake, Cathedral Ledge and nearby White Horse Ledge are popular places to rock climb or ice climb and have both fixed and traditional routes. Climbers come from across the country to test themselves against New Hampshire’s cliffs. It is also possible for non-climbers to enjoy the view from the top of Cathedral Ledge. A trail wraps around the lake, and a road and trail to Cathedral Ledge offer views across the Saco River Valley.

There are also spectacular views from nearby Mount Washington. At 6,288 feet, it is the highest peak in the northeast, and on a clear day it’s possible to see Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Quebec and the Atlantic Ocean from its summit. That alone would be worth the climb. Fortunately for the less adventurous, there is a historic cog railway that runs to the summit. Built in 1869, the Mount Washington Cog Railway is a National Historic Engineering Landmark. The Mount Washington State Park covers the summit of the mountain and includes a visitor center and observatory. Just a short drive away, a trip to Mount Washington is a great day trip from Echo Lake.

Echo Lake is surrounded by the world renowned White Mountain National Forest. Historically, the White Mountains have always had spiritual value to the area’s native people. That was not necessarily true, however, of the European settlers. In 1867 Governor Harriaman sold the White Mountain region to private interests, and by the late 1800’s there were almost a thousand sawmills cutting timber off the mountains. Fortunately, in 1914 the Weeks Act allowed the state to start buying back burnt, logged land. Today the White Mountain National Forest includes over 800,000 acres and draws over seven million visitors every year.

The White Mountains and the Mount Washington Valley are very popular destinations for winter sports. In addition to ice climbing, there are trails for snowmobiling and cross country skiing as well as a handful of downhill ski areas. There is ice skating on Echo Lake, and the town of North Conway also maintains a skating rink. North Conway is a charming mountain town with shops, restaurants and an abundance of outdoor outfitters. Almost anything a visitor might need is within an easy walk or bike ride.

Drawing millions of visitors every year to enjoy the majestic beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities of the mountains, the area around North Conway in Carroll County has a well earned reputation with outdoor enthusiasts. With all that the area has to offer, Echo Lake is one more jewel in the crown of New Hampshire’s White Mountain Region.

Things to do at Echo Lake NH

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Rock Climbing
  • Ice Climbing
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Waterfall
  • State Park
  • National Forest

Fish species found at Echo Lake NH

  • Lake Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout

Echo Lake NH Photo Gallery

Echo Lake NH Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 31 acres

Average Depth: 7 feet

Maximum Depth: 10 feet

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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