Echo Lake State Park is a great place to take the family for a swim and picnic. A scenic trail around the lake provides great views of sheer, 700-foot Cathedral Ledge which towers over the lake. A mile-long auto road and hiking trails lead to the top of Cathedral Ledge where views across the Saco River Valley to the White Mountains can be enjoyed. Both Cathedral and nearby White Horse ledges are popular rock and ice climbing walls.

hiking
1 month ago

We had non-hikers in our party, so we did this as a one-way trail from the parking lot at Echo Lake to the parking lot at Cathedral Ledge. I did not like this trail because the views from the path were never any better (and usually much worse) than the views one could reach via a short walk from the parking lot at either end.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy winter stroll around the lake. Pretty though. Basically flat. Snow made it a little tough to find the start of the trail for our first visit. But once you get away from beach area the path is easy to follow. We were hoping to use our snowshoes but there wasn’t really enough snow. We will definitely be back when it snows more. Safe easy place to learn to snowshoe.
About 3/4 of the way around the lake we choose to take the Cathedral Ledge trail to add to the adventure (add 2 miles and some elevation gain for sure. I recommend that if you are a hiker.) Need crampons in the winter if snow and ice is present. . Actually, even around the lake it helps to have good boots with traction or some slip on cleats if there is snow/Ice.
Parked outside the park, as it is closed in the winter. Signs say “ no parking” ... but there were other cars and we didn’t get a ticket or towed. At least this time. :)
Note for next Spring, Summer, Fall - this would be a great running trail. About a mile long so just add the laps you want!

Great entry level Winter hike. Took this hike for the first time ever. (Good any season but busy I bet in the summer). Not sure why I have never done it before it’s great. This is our first year winter hiking so after our first real snow of the season we wanted to kick off the winter hiking. This one seemed like a safe place to start winter hiking- and it is. It would be a Great spot to snowshoe for the first time even if you just go around Echo Lake (about a mile- flat and pretty)
Didn’t need our snowshoes this time (not enough snow) just our regular crampons and hiking poles.
Added the hike Bryce Path to make it to the top of Cathedral Ledge. This is a must to get the view!
Pretty easy hike even with the snow and slippery leave areas. Needed the crampons in the few steeper areas. These would not be considered steep in the summer but the snow added to our need for careful steps in those areas. Very doable though. Trail is well marked.
Amazing to get to the top of Cathedral Ledge and not find any people. Road Up is closed in the winter)
Great views from the Ledge of North Conway area and Cranmore Ski Mountain....and even the mile around Echo Lake at the beginning is pretty.

hiking
2 months ago

This hike is accurately categorizes as moderate. Plan for 2.5 to 3 hours. I recommend that you run this trail counter-clockwise. Starting at the crossroad of Bryce and White horse. Take Bryce first as it is a somewhat steep scramble. Left at the next intersection for White Horse heading S/SW. Rewarding views await and the remainder of the hike is forest and less technical.

Beautiful scenery

Very steep. Worth it.

hiking
4 months ago

This hike was nice. Relatively close to a golf course for a portion of it though. However If you plan on doing cathedral or white horse then choose white horse its much more rewarding.

hiking
4 months ago

The color of the lake will mesmerize you, such a beautiful sea green color!

I did this hike with my mi-aged mother and it was in October during the PEAK of falls colors. All I can say is that it was a completely breathtaking experience for she and I. She is not much of a hiker, so parts of the trail were indeed difficult for her. But the reward of the beautiful trees and serenity on top of Cathedral Ledge was well worth it for us.

Hiked this trail today - a gorgeous day with great weather. Kids 15, 13, 11, 9. Great hike. Took 3.5 hours with @ 30 min for lunch at summit. Went counter-clockwise to tackle the steepest section at the start and on ascent. Definitely a challenge for the younger ones with scrambling in a couple of places. One child who is a little scared of heights was a little uncomfortable in spots, but gained confidence and was glad to have done it. The vista before the summit is better than the vista at the summit. Suffered a few bee stings on the trail on the way down. But still a great hike and the most challenging one we've done as a group. A good next step after easier hikes in the area like Diana's Baths.

nice walk around the pond then into the wood, then a very steep climb up with a small rest and more up. we didn't make the second up because we started later afternoon and we're loosing light. it was very challenging to us but great. only reason we gave it a four was because you have to pay to enter park and enter, but it wasn't enough to deter us.

It was a steep climb up but the view was really beautiful

This is absolutely beautiful! Depending on your fitness level, this might be difficult for some. I would rate this Moderate/difficult in places for sure. The trek down for me was quite steep with moments of vertigo. If you don't like steep, I would suggest going the longer route around and then going back down the same way.

Did this 4 days ago, it was raining a bit but it kept us cooler. Did the loop clockwise making the steep part our decent.

hiking
7 months ago

A beautiful, simple trail around Echo lake. it's beautiful for leaf peeping in the Fall. Stunning views of Cathedral's Ledge.

Did this with my 5yr old. He loved the view up top. We were having a great time until we were rounding the bottom by the hotel and ran into a black bear. Luckily he let us walk away and we abandoned the trail to get into the parking lot and away from him. Took another trail and the road to get back to our car. Scariest moment of my life! Remember to be safe out there, you never know when you're going to have a run in with nature.

I did the loop counter clockwise and stopped at Cathedral ledge on the way. The trail from the north end was well-marked, but coming down to the south area was confusing because the markers were difficult to see. Best views here was at Cathedral Ledge... can't see much on the White Horse trail unfortunately.

Had a hard time finding this trail we could not see anything marking the trail! Then unfortunately it started to rain! Maybe better luck next time! We were leery to go into the park area because it said absolutely no dogs! :(

Easy walk around a nice lake that starts and ends in a nice beach area suitable for a swim

It is a misty day so the visibility isn't great. From the top of cathedral Ledge I hiked down the Bryce Path, up to Whitehorse Ledge and back up Bryce Path. Rocky and steep and I enjoyed every minute of it. A misty day is perfect for hiking in the woods.

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