Eagle Nest Lake State Park
|Eagle Nest Lake State Park|
|Location||Colfax, New Mexico, United States|
|Area||3,488 acres (14.12 km2)|
|Elevation||8,300 ft (2,500 m)|
|Established||July 3, 2004|
|Governing body||New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department|
The park is located outside Eagle Nest, approximately 30 miles (48 km) east of Taos. It was established on July 3, 2004. Its main attraction is a 2,400-acre (9.7 km2) lake which is popular for fishing and boating in the summer, and ice fishing and snowmobiling in the winter.
The lake itself is a man-made reservoir created when the Cimarron River was impounded by the Eagle Nest Dam in 1918. Before this, the St Louis, Rocky Mountain and Pacific Railroad did some grading work in 1907 on an unfinished extension from its terminus at Ute Park to Taos, including boring a tunnel here.
The lake is home to several species of fish, including rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, common carp, white sucker, channel catfish, sunfish, and northern pike, which were accidentally introduced into Eagle Nest Lake (the park recommends anglers to keep the pike, because of their threat to the lake's gamefish populations).
Eagle Nest Lake is at an elevation of 8,300 feet (2,500 m), making it an alpine lake, and it is situated in a glacial valley on the slopes of Wheeler Peak, New Mexico's highest mountain. The surrounding mountains are rich in wildlife such as elk, deer, turkeys and bears.
View of Wheeler Peak from Eagle Nest
- "Eagle Nest Lake State Park". publiclands.org. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
- Myrick, D. F: New Mexico's Railroads: A Historical Survey UMN Press 1990 p. 161