Echo Lake, Vermont, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Vermont - Eastern Vermont Gateways -

Echo Lake has been the summer destination of the discerning resort visitor for over a hundred years. Echo Lake is one of a group of lakes called the Plymouth Lakes in south central Vermont. Bordering the Green Mountains, these lakes – Echo, Amherst, Rescue and Pauline – provided the setting for a number of sought-after old-style Vermont inns. Many still exist in the form of lodging and dining experiences, including historical bed and breakfasts along the shoreline of Echo Lake.

Although not large, Echo Lake has seen huge numbers of visitors over the years. The east side of the lake was home to a Boy Scout Camp for many years. The property is now Plymouth State Park and a popular destination for summer swimmers, campers and boaters. One of the most scenic hiking trails overlooking the Black River Valley begins at the park. The rest of the shoreline is comprised primarily of summer cottages and homes, although a few condos are now available. Always available for winter sports, a ski resort built in recent years has increased winter traffic to the area.

Echo Lake is remarkable for its beautiful setting against the backdrop of the mountains. The shoreline is well-forested, giving an air of isolation amid the many cottages. All water activities are welcome here and swimming, canoeing, and kayaking are favorites.

Fishing is always popular as Echo Lake is a noted cold water fishery. The excellent water quality provides Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Smelt, Perch, Pickerel, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Panfish and Catfish for the eager angler. Several brooks in the immediate vicinity are designated trout waters, and fly fishing is a favorite sport. In winter, both ice fishing and ice skating draw visitors to the lake. The Black River, originating in Black Pond near Plymouth, flows into Echo Lake at the north end and out at the south end.

To reward a visitor’s need to explore, the Plymouth/Ludlow/Echo Lake area is rich in Vermont history. Calvin Coolidge grew up at the family homestead near Plymouth Notch and was sworn in here while vacationing when Warren Harding died suddenly. Coolidge began his academic career at Black River Academy in Ludlow, now a museum. In Windsor, VT on the New Hampshire border, the American Precision Museum celebrates the evolution of the machinery that created the Industrial Revolution in the Northeast. Also at Windsor is the Cornish Colony Museum, with programs and exhibits documenting the lives and works of artists and performing artists such as Maxfield Parrish that worked at the Colony just across the river in New Hampshire. The Old Constitution House, where the Vermont Constitution was signed, is also open for tours in Windsor.

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science Nature Center at Quechee, approximately 25 miles from Echo Lake, has raptor exhibits featuring hawks, eagles, vultures, falcons, and owls that have been injured, rescued and rehabilitated by staff. In between are some of the famed Vermont covered bridges and a wealth of hiking trails, bicycling tours and special, favored ‘swimming holes’. Buttermilk Falls near Ludlow is a great place to swim on a sultry summer afternoon.

Festivals and events scheduled in the area surrounding Echo Lake make sure there is always something extra special for visitors to do. The Plymouth Folk and Blues Concerts occur over Labor Day weekend. Nearby Okemo Mountain offers hiking and cycling trails and, in winter, skiing, sledding and snowmobiling. Local businesses provide for every need, including pet sitters and boarding for canine family members whose families take a day-long side trip. Opportunities for fine and specialty dining abound with many of the historic inns opening their dining rooms and activities to non-guests. Gourmet cooking schools and fly fishing schools are a couple of the more unusual activities offered.

Echo Lake is easy to reach, located alongside Vermont Route 100, 15 miles from Killington and 26 miles from Rutland. Come visit Echo Lake for the day, the week, or the summer. There’s something here for everyone.

Things to do at Echo Lake VT

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum

Fish species found at Echo Lake VT

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Catfish
  • Lake Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Smelt
  • Trout

Echo Lake VT Photo Gallery

    Echo Lake VT Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 104 acres

    Shoreline Length: 3 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,060 feet

    Average Depth: 26 feet

    Maximum Depth: 91 feet

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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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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