EAGLE NEST’S TOWN-WIDE EVENTS usually include one of New Mexico’s largest and most spectacular July Fourth fireworks displays over the lake. To see if it is still on, check with the Eagle Nest Visitor Center and Enchanted Circle Gateway Museum.
Eagle Nest has a colorful and storied past of gunslingers, ghost towns, gold mining and wide-open, peaceful spaces. Reopened for day-fishing May 30, 2020, coronavirus safety practices and fire restrictions are still in place for national and state parks, with a soft reopening for dine-in restaurants.
At press time, however, Billy Dawson’s sixth annual Nashville to New Mexico music fest was canceled and moved to 2021. For more information, go online to nashvilletonewmexico.com.
The village has been the crossroads of many pioneers and frontier Indians for centuries. Visit nearby Elizabethtown and Virginia City, both of which were vibrant and growing towns in the mining boom days.
Originally named Therma, the village adopted the name Eagle Nest after the completion of the Eagle Nest Lake dam, which recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2018. Though the state’s museums were temporarily closed at press time, restrictions may have been lifted by the time you read this. In Eagle Nest, the Enchanted Circle Gateway Museum, at 580 East Therma Drive, features culture and history exhibits, facilitates tours of historic places and serves as the official visitor center.
Independence Day 2020
Whether they have the fireworks display at dusk this year or not, at press time they are still planning the July Fourth fire department barbecue and EMS dessert sale at 11 a.m., a socially distanced July Fourth parade (1 mile long instead of 6 blocks long) at 2 p.m., and One Night to Unite event, 5-8 p.m. at Enchanted Eagle Park – all the events and venues are subject to change, of course. Check Eagle Nest Visitor Center.
Artisans and visitors all enjoy the High Country Arts Festival, held the last weekend in July; and everyone hopes for the annual September fishing derby – Eagle Nest Fish Fest – featuring cash and door prizes for tagged fish, casting contests, worm-eating contests and more.
At the heart of this community is Eagle Nest Lake State Park, also known as the “Home of the Browns.” The lake provides year-round fishing for trout and kokanee salmon. Ongoing through September are seasonal dam tours by boat with Eagle Nest Adventures. Call (575) 252-3252.
The howl of coyotes can be heard and the tracks of the elk, deer, bear and mountain lion can be found along the self-guided flora and fauna trail walks around Eagle Nest Lake State Park. Call (575) 377-1594.
Eagle Nest is also headquarters for what is arguably some of the best big and small game hunting in America. Camping, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing are all around Eagle Nest in Cimarrón Canyon State Park, Coyote Creek State Park, the Valle Vidal Unit of Carson National Forest and the Maxwell Wildlife Refuge.
Be sure to investigate all Eagle Nest has to offer, because so much is available for enjoyment within coronavirus safety practices.