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.

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
10 days 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.

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
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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