By Ellen Miller-Goins
This picturesque community, surrounded by the open spaces of the Moreno Valley, is conveniently located in the Enchanted Circle for sightseeing and adventures. This is a great place to sit back, relax or, perhaps, shop. Therma Drive shops are showcases for hand-crafted country items, collectibles, jewelry, clothing, furniture, sculpture, antiques, pottery, clothing and souvenirs.
In addition to weekly events at Golden Eagle RV Park, such as Friday Farmer’s Markets, arts and crafts, live music and barbecues, the Eagle Nest Library offers a summer reading program and other events, Eagle Nest Senior Center offers adults 60 and older a place for to socialize, learn and share meals.
Eagle Nest Lake is one of the Southwest’s top trout holes. Anglers come by the hundreds to try their hand at landing kokanee salmon and rainbow and cutthroat trout. The Cimarron River flows out of Eagle Nest Lake and is stocked throughout the summer to keep fish numbers high. Eagle Nest is also headquarters for what is arguably some of the best big and small game hunting in America.
The biggest happening of the summer centers around the culmination of the 100th Anniversary of Eagle Nest Dam. In 1908, Charles and Frank Springer received a permit to appropriate waters of the Cimarron River and construct a dam.
In 1916, work began on the 140-foot concrete structure. It was completed in 1918. The lake itself was named for the eagles that circled overhead while construction was underway. Entrepreneur Talmadge D. Neal saw a business opportunity.
Since the nearest place to buy supplies was Elizabethtown, he purchased land from Charles Gallagher and built a store on Moreno Creek. When a post office was established in the store in 1920, postmaster Neal named the new site Therma. The second postmaster, Anne L. Haddow, renamed the town Eagle Nest in 1935.
Two years of celebratory activities culminate June 30–July 8 with the Eagle Nest Dam Centennial Celebration. Events include “Last Chance Dam Tours,” Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) Cook-Off, arts and crafts, food, family activities, kite flying, pet parades, paddle events and more. See enl-cc-parkfriends.org/documents/100th.events.2018.pdf for more information.
Townwide events include one of the state’s largest and most spectacular July 4th fireworks displays, a parade and the annual Fire Department Barbecue and EMS Dessert Sale.
Artisans and visitors alike enjoy High Country Arts Festival the last weekend in July. The annual September fishing derby, Fish Fest, features cash and door prizes for tagged fish, casting contests, worm-eating contests, and more. Billy Dawson’s 4th Annual “Nashville To New Mexico,” June 30 at Enchanted Eagle RV Park, offers Dawson and other stellar performers.
For more information, go online to nashvilletonewmexico.com.
Visit the Enchanted Circle Gateway Museum & Visitor Center to learn about the history of the area. Call (575) 377-5978 or visit gatewaymuseum.com; Eagle Nest Chamber of Commerce: eaglenestchamber.org, (575)377-2420; or Village of Eagle Nest (575) 377-2486.
May 18 Run For The Wall
June 30 4th annual Nashville to New Mexico
Texas native performer/songwriter Billy Dawson brings a high energy evening of acoustic music to the Enchanted Circle Park
June 30-July 8 Eagle Nest Dam Centennial Celebration
July 3 Shawna Russell Concert
July 4 Independence Day Celebration
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Parade down the main street at 2 p.m.
July 20-21 First Annual Eagle Nest Cowboy Festival
For updated information on this event, go to eaglenestchamber.org.
July 28-29 35th annual High Country Arts Fest
Features handmade items from all over the country, wine tastings, beer garden and live music. Held at Enchanted Eagle Park. eaglenestchamber.org
Sept. (TBA) Eagle Fest Celebration
Sept. (TBA) Village Wide Yard Sale
Sept. (TBA) Fish Fest
Sept. (TBA) Fish Fry
Ongoing and seasonal activities and events
June thru September
Dam Tours on land by Gateway Museum (505) 603-9985
Dam Tours on boat by Eagle Nest Adventures (575) 252-3252
Self-guided flora and fauna trail walks around Eagle Nest Lake (575) 377-1594
Farmer’s Market — Third Friday in June through first Friday in September (575) 377-6188