A Tiny Treasure of a Park

A relatively new state park in the cool mountains New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle

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On our recent week-long trip to the Enchanted Circle area of New Mexico, we had the opportunity to visit several places to take our RV on future trips.  One little state park we found was pretty and one we would consider for a night or two on a return trip.

Eagle Nest Lake State Park is not a big park, but it occupies some prime real estate on the west side of Eagle Nest Lake, which is quite beautiful.  It is a relatively new state park, only founded in 2004.

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Main entrance to Eagle Nest Lake State Park
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Visitor’s center area

 

We took the opportunity, after paying our day use fee at the gate drop box, to tour this little park and check out some of the RV sites.

We started our tour at the visitor’s center, but it was locked up on that Wednesday morning.  In fact, we never saw a park employee anywhere in the park during our visit.  It looks like a very nice visitor’s center, and I wish we could have checked it out to see what was offered inside.  There were about six RV campers in the campground, but they obviously could not use any of these facilities, at least on the day we were there.  (I will give some credit here for at least keeping the park open for day visitors and campers, though, unlike the national forests in New Mexico who just seem to pretty much close up shop after Labor Day and completely lock their parks and campgrounds up to everyone.  Ugh.)

For anyone with a boat, there is a boat ramp next to the visitor’s center to give easy access to the lake right in the park.

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Visitor’s center
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Wish we could have seen inside the visitor’s center, but it was locked up. 😦
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A little info on the park

 

There are some nice, tall trees in the day use area, along with beautiful lakeside covered tables.  A picnic here would be a lovely experience, for sure.  We were the only people in this area during our visit, too.

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Unlike the day use area, there are no trees in the RV campground, which is unfortunate.  The draw to camping here for us, though, would be the great lakeside sites with the nice covered tables.  These particular sites are also pull-through sites and looked to be pretty level.  And as if to try to make up for the lack of trees here, the yellow and purple wildflowers were absolutely beautiful!

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There is a small area of private residences just behind the state park, including the campground, so if you want a campground that is away from more developed areas, this one might not be for you.  All of the RV sites are dry camping sites, too.  However, for a small nightly fee, camping by a beautiful lake with mountains behind it, a covered table at the site and cooler summer temps is still a good deal to us!  I think the nightly fee was about $10?

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The tiny town of Eagle Nest sits at the north end of the lake and is easily seen from the visitor’s center area.

 

 

The town of Eagle Nest is nearby, and Angel Fire is only about ten miles away to the south. When planning a visit to this area, it would be worth checking to see what businesses are open and what businesses are closed in each community, especially if visiting in the off-season on a weekday.  The little town of Eagle Nest was pretty much buttoned up on this same day when we went there and hoping to check out some restaurants and shops.  There is a Lowe’s grocery store in Angel Fire, if needed.

This was a fact-finding, or RV park-finding, trip for us, and if/when we return to this area again, I think we might spend a night or two in this pretty little park.  The nightly rate is so cheap, and it would put us a bit closer for day trips to Eagle Nest and Red River, as compared to staying in Angel Fire where we stayed during our trip.  Our only disappointment was finding the park facilities to be locked up with no one on duty, but for just a night or two, we would probably be fine with that.

We also paid a quick visit to two campgrounds at Cimarron Canyon State Park, Ponderosa Campground and Maverick Campground.  I was driving the car and did not take any photos, unfortunately, but we really liked that park.  Just like Eagle Nest Lake State Park, the sites are dry camping, but we would most definitely consider camping there for a few nights.  The draw to that park for us is a true forest camping experience with access to the Cimarron River and some nice hiking trails.  Larger RVs use the Ponderosa Campground in that park, but smaller ones have a few more options in campgrounds.

Since I have no photos to share of this pretty park, here are two helpful links.

Photos of Cimarron Canyon State Park

Campsite Photos – Cimarron Canyon State Park

I have more to share on our trip soon. 😉

Author: DK

Blogger at My Five Fs (Faith - Family - Food - Fotos - Fun) and Animal Wonder. Empty-nester that now shares life with my hubby and our two standard poodles. Enjoys camping in our RV, taking and editing photos, trying new low-carb recipes, baking pretty decorated cookies for special occasions, walking daily, spending time with family and friends when we can, playing with the dogs, and is grateful to God for every single day of this blessed life and for the opportunity to share and connect with some great people here.

4 thoughts on “A Tiny Treasure of a Park”

  1. not sure why sometimes I get notifications on your blog and sometimes I don’t. seems to be a problem with WP in general, not just you, but it sure is annoying.

    love to see a campground with only a few campers in it. just something about enjoying what no one else is enjoying that brings a special glint to my eye.

    and after a summer in the middle of the forest, seeing that much open space is mind-blowing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve run into that same issue a few times with blog posts not appearing in my feed, but I don’t “think” it’s been an issue for the past year or so? This little park was a bit better than we thought it would be and would be a nice stop for a night or two. I don’t think I would want to spend my entire trip there, but if on a limited budget, it would be a good option, too.

      I’ve had to take some time the past week to help a friend who just lost her mother, but I still have more information to share on the area sometime soon, I hope. The other state park we checked out was nice, Coyote Creek, but if you’re based in the actual Enchanted Circle towns, you can’t drive or tow a vehicle longer than ten feet to it. You have to drive in from the south instead, which would be a really long drive. It has some hookups, though, and it would be nice to spend a few days there among the tall trees and right next to the river.

      Open spaces are truly wonderful. I love to go where we can enjoy trees, but I’m afraid I would terribly miss our wide open skies and star gazing if away too long.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At the rate we’re going it’ll be a long while before we get to NM. But be assured that when we do I’m going to tap your brain for ideas!
        We’re experimenting with the concept of longer stays. The summer volunteer gig was long but doesn’t exactly count as we were working for a part of it. We’ll do 4 months in TX, and the head North, for 4-5 months in central WI. Want to see how we really like back to back lengthy stays. Don’t know. So many retirees seem to do that… 5 months here, 5 months there, and transit between the two. And not sure if that’s for us or not. But only way to know is try it… so, the next year is sort of blocked out for a long experiment. 🙂
        The forest at Highland Ridge is REALLY dense and you have to get OUT of it to have any distance vision at all. Even though we are leaving open the possibility of returning, I kind of think that may have been our list gig there.

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  2. I’m glad to give a few suggestions for NM when that time comes for both of you. If you have to pick only one area to visit, I definitely recommend the Enchanted Circle. Find a good spot or two to park as a base camp, and tour in the car from there. Lots of steep ups and downs to negotiate on two-lane roads, but it’s gorgeous there. Also, a visit to Albuquerque, especially Old Town for part of a day including lunch or dinner there, and a day or two in Santa Fe. Taos is on the Enchanted Circle route… good to spend some time there, too. Get advance reservations before heading that way… very popular, especially in summer months.

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