Eagle Nest has a colorful and storied past of gunslingers, ghost towns, gold mining and wide-open, peaceful spaces. 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 of Eagle Nest after the completion of the Eagle Nest Lake dam, which recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary. The enchanted Circle Gateway Museum on East Therma Drive features culture and history exhibits, facilitates tours of historic places and serves as a visitor center.
At the heart of this community is Eagle Nest Lake. Also known as the ‘Home of the Browns,’ the lake provides year-round fishing for trout and kokanee salmon. The howl of the coyotes can be heard and the tracks of the elk, deer, bear and mountain lions will be found frequently along the self-guided “Walking Tour.”
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 Cimarron Canyon State Park, Coyote Creek State Park, the Valle Vidal Unit of Carson National Forest and the Maxwell Wildlife Refuge.
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: find on Facebook, (575)377-2420; or Village of Eagle Nest (575) 377-2486.
— Staff report
Run For The Wall, annual motorcycle caravan to Washington, DC, for Memorial Day
2nd annual Eagle Nest Cowboy Fest and Christian Music Concert, Enchanted Eagle Park
Paddle It! Canoe, kayak and paddle board event at Eagle Nest Lake State Park.
Independence Day Celebration
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Parade down main street at 2 p.m., Firemen’s BBQ and fireworks.
Billy Dawson’s 5th Annual Nashville to New Mexico festival, 5-8 p.m. at Enchanted Eagle Park. An evening of acoustic music. nashvilletonewmexico.com
36th annual High Country Arts & Crafts Fest
Features handmade items from all over the country, wine tastings, beer garden and live music. Held at Enchanted Eagle Park.
Eighteenth annual town celebration in Eagle Nest with balloon launch and soap box race.
Twenty-ninth annual village Fish Fest.
Annual Eagle Nest 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