Nottingham Lake, Colorado, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - Colorado - Northwest -

Also known as:  Benchmark Lake, Benchmark Lake Reservoir

Nottingham Lake sits at the heart of Avon, Colorado. A source of water, recreation and pride, Nottingham Lake is surrounded by the beauty of west central Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Tucked in a valley along the Eagle River, Harry A. Nottingham Park and Nottingham Lake are found a short eight miles west of Vail and within view of scenic Beaver Creek.

What are now world-renown ski slopes were once called “the shining mountains” by people of the Ute Nation. Abundant wildlife and rushing rivers provided summer hunting grounds for the Ute. The same beaver, bear and deer attracted mountain men and trappers by the early 1800s, but the Eagle River Basin did not see its first Anglo settlers until the 1880s. William Nottingham arrived in the valley in 1882 where his son, Harry A. Nottingham was born. Harry became a prominent citizen who ranched and farmed half of his parents’ homestead until his death in 1966. Harry A. Nottingham Park and Nottingham Lake are named in his honor.

Nottingham Lake, also called Benchmark Lake, is an impoundment of Buck Creek, a tributary of the Eagle River. Built in 1980, Benchmark Dam now provides an emergency water supply to the city of Avon. The earthen dam, essentially a levee, rises along the south and west shore of Nottingham Lake helping to maintain an average depth of 10 feet and maximum depth of 15 feet. Sediment ponds located at the northeast end of the lake help to maintain water quality.

Today, Nottingham Lake and 48-acre Harry A. Nottingham Park provide a community space where residents can cheer on friends and neighbors at athletic fields, basketball courts, volleyball courts and tennis courts. The playground, picnic tables and cooking grills are excellent gathering spots for family and group cookouts. Plans have been discussed to extend hiking trails, but a single paved path already circles Nottingham Lake for walking, jogging, biking and in-line skating. During the summer, the sand beach makes a perfect space for sunning. Future long-range plans may expand water use, but generally swimming in Benchmark Lake is limited to special events. Swimmers will find a public pool at the multi-use recreation center built at the east end of the park. No motorized watercraft are permitted on Nottingham Lake but visitors may bring inner tubes, belly boats, canoes and kayaks to paddle across the 15-acre lake. For those who don’t own a boat or canoe, paddleboats are available for rent.

If you have a Colorado fishing license, Nottingham Lake has been stocked with trout and is available for fishing both summer and winter. With less than a mile of lake shoreline, anglers tend to gather along the south and west shores where the water is deepest. Don’t forget that the Eagle River lies immediately to the south of Benchmark Lake. Often less crowded than nearby Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers, Eagle River is known for its wild rainbows, browns, cutthroats, and brookies. If you are looking for more secluded waterways, local outfitters are ready to take you to some of Colorado’s best mountain streams and lakes.

Outdoor adventures continue within surrounding White River National Forest. With names like Vail, Beaver Creek and Aspen found in White River National Forest, you know you are in the heart of bustling winter and summer resorts. For a slower pace, Eagle Ranger District maintains over 80 back-country trails open to hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and in the winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The Glenwood Canyon Trail has a paved surface open to mountain bikes and in-line skating. A hut-to-hut trail system is available for an extended cross-country outing. Those desiring a true wilderness experience will find that White River National Forest is home to eight wilderness areas. Here, mountain peaks, alpine meadows, sparkling streams and blue skies combine for the ultimate Rocky Mountain experience.

In the midst of Colorado’s Northwest Tourism Region, spectacular scenery, and luxury resorts you will find the growing community of Avon. With an estimated population of 6,800, Avon is attracting an increasing number of seasonal residents. Half of Avon’s housing units are second homes. According to a 2008 community survey, 24% of these units are considered “long term rentals”, 27% “short term rentals”, 28% are for “owner use only”, and 45% are for “owner, friends and family use”. Drawn to the charm and hospitality of Avon, 22% of second homeowners have indicated that they plan to use their home as a permanent residence when they retire.

As a growing commercial center to Eagle County, Avon’s charming plazas are lined with shops, restaurants and services guaranteed to delight even the pickiest visitor. Truly the heart of this family-friendly community, Nottingham Lake is home to frequent family events including the Father’s Day fishing derby, 4th of July fireworks, Easter egg hunts, art festivals and the annual “Icing on the Lake” skate party. As a planned community, Avon has surrounded Nottingham Lake and Harry A. Nottingham Park with homes and condominiums that include readily available real estate properties and vacation rentals. Now is the time to find your property. Come to Avon’s Nottingham Lake and create treasured family moments on the shores of a sparkling lake surrounded by “the shining mountains.”

Things to do at Nottingham Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Tubing
  • Tennis
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Forest
  • Playground

Fish species found at Nottingham Lake

  • Trout

Nottingham Lake Photo Gallery

    Nottingham Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

    divider

    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: City of Avon

    Surface Area: 15 acres

    Shoreline Length: 1 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 7,430 feet

    Average Depth: 10 feet

    Maximum Depth: 15 feet

    Water Volume: 100 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1980

    Lake Area-Population: 6,800

    Spread the word! Share our Nottingham Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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."


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.