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State Parks in Northern NM
If aquatic adventure is the name of your game, head to northern New Mexico for fishing, boating, and much more.
Clayton Lake State Park
A fishermen's haven, Clayton Lake State Park is home to four state records for the largest walleye caught, since 1980. Mallards, Canadian geese and bald eagles frequent the 170-acre lake. Grab your camera for viewing the 500 preserved footprints from eight species of dinosaurs, from the boardwalk or from a hiking trail.Enjoy boating, swimming and hiking along the park trails, for a full day of outdoor fun. For more outdoor fun in Clayton and northern New Mexico, visit the Clayton Centennial Park and the Union Count Historical Park.
Fenton Lake State Park
Quiet, remote, and tucked away in a sanctuary of ponderosa pines and forested mountains, Fenton Lake State Park is a haven for fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and picnicking. It is also a popular location for cross country skiing in the winter. Located north of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, this park is open 24 hours a day year round. Visitors to the park will be most struck by Northern New Mexico's stunning and peaceful wilderness and postcard worthy snapshots of the lake.
Conchas Lake State Park
You'll find a wealth of outdoor recreation in New Mexico. Conchas Lake State Park is home to Conchas Lake, one of New Mexico's largest lakes, boasting of 60 miles of shoreline. Boating, swimming, hiking, picnicking and fishing are popular outdoor recreational activities in the park. The lake is home to bluegill, walleye and largemouth bass, for those ready to drop in a line in along the sandy beaches. Bring your camera while hiking to capture the ancient rock formations in the park. After a day of exploring, take in a nice evening in Tucumcari. Relax, rest and rejuvenate in comfortable accommodations. Enjoy your travels in northern NM.
Heron Lake State Park
One of New Mexico's top destinations for small boat sailing and salmon fishing, Heron Lake State Park boasts scenic views and excellent summer playground and winter wonderland recreation. Sailors, kayakers, and canoers can venture on undisturbed thanks to a 'no wake' policy and plenty of open water. Hikers enjoy the 5.5 mile connection to El Vado Lake in the south, alongside wooded terrain and a pedestrian suspension bridge. In the winter, the lake is popular destination for cross country skiing. Open 24 hours daily, the park is located north of Santa Fe and east of Bloomfield in northern New Mexico.
Santa Rosa Lake State Park
Located in Guadalupe County, Santa Rosa Lake State Park covers 550 acres in northern New Mexico near Santa Rosa. Set along New Mexico Route 91, the park is home to the 3,800-acre Santa Rosa Reservoir. Operated by the New Mexico State Parks Division, Santa Rosa Lake State Park features fishing, bird watching, horseback riding, and picnicking. Santa Rosa Reservoir is ideal for boating, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, and water skiing.
Storrie Lake State Park
Relax in New Mexico with a visit to a lake with unmatched beauty. With its rustic, clear, and undisturbed nature, Storrie Lake State Park acts as a great host for sailing, wind surfing, and swimming. Fishing opportunities are plentiful and hikers can explore the many trails surrounding the lake. You can easily spend a day at its shores, from delighting in a local picnic to letting the kids use the playground while you enjoy the views of the nearby Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico. Storrie Lake State Park is located just outside of historic Las Vegas.
Villanueva State Park
Nestled in a beautiful sandstone canyon of the Pecos River, Villaneuva State Park is a perfect day trip getaway. Visitors can picnic under the shade of cottonwood trees after a hike exploring the red and yellow sandstone cliffs surrounding the park and taking in views of the valley. Visitors can also experience first hand wildlife in its natural state; bird watching and flower watching are popular activities. Located southwest of Las Vegas in New Mexico's northern region, this park undergoes seasonal closures. Gates open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 1st to October 1st, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. October 1st to April 1st.
Bluewater Lake State Park
Located in the Zuni Mountains in northern New Mexico and just a short hop from Interstate 40, this state park covers over 3,000 acres of natural beauty and outdoor activities. Anglers and boaters rejoice at the ample opportunities for trout and cat fishing while the less water savvy can take a hike, eat picnics, or enjoy serene mountain and lake views. Thanks to its high altitude, the lake freezes in winter allowing for ice fishing. This pinion and juniper landscape is located west of Albuquerque and is fully open in the summer and partially open in the winter. Gates are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. March 1st to October 31st, and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 1st to April 31st.
Cerrillos Hills State Park
Concealing over 1,100 years of mining history among its five miles of hiking trails, Cerrillos Hills State Park is northern New Mexico's newest addition to the state park system. Open year round from sunrise to sunset, visitors can roam the park on foot, on bike, or on horseback. Interpretative signs accompany safeguarded mine shafts and there are plenty of places to enjoy a picnic with views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The park's full potential remains untapped as the state continues to add trails and explore the mysteries of the former mining land. This is an excellent opportunity to watch history slowly unfold and reveal itself. The park is located 16 miles south of Santa Fe.
Cimarron Canyon State Park
Crossed by the namesake Cimarron River, this park brings wildlife viewing, fishing, and outdoor exploration into one easy to reach New Mexico destination. Anglers descend for the famous trout fishing opportunities while avid hikers tramp into the 33,000 acre-wide Colin Neblett Wildlife Area. Horsebackers and hikers alike can see waterfalls, experience the Gravel Pit lakes and the Palisades Sill, and view deer, elk, bears, and turkeys in their natural habitat. Best of all, the park is open 24 hours a day all year long, is 24 miles southeast of Red River and is just upstream from Eagle Nest Lake State Park. From hiking and fishing in the summer to snow shoeing in the winter, Cimarron Canyon State Park offers adventures for anyone who's looking.
Coyote Creek State Park
Nestled in a riparian canyon, Coyote Creek State Park is one of the centerpiece destinations in New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Many visitors enjoy the state's most densely stocked trout stream, or the hiking, picnicking, and scenic views of forested mountains and lush vegetation. Visitors can also immerse themselves in the park's extensive geological history; you can find rocks that are more than 250 million years old. Located north from Las Vegas and at an altitude of 7,700 feet, Coyote Creek is open for year round activities and outdoor fun.
Eagle Nest Lake State Park
Situated in a glacial valley on the slopes of New Mexico's Wheeler Peak, and just south of Cimarron Canyon State Park, Eagle Nest Lake State Park offers prime summer and winter activities. The namesake 2,400 acre Eagle Nest Lake is popular for salmon and trout fishing, along with boating and swimming. Once winter comes, visitors can enjoy ice fishing and snowmobiling. The park lies 19 miles south of Red River and sits at an altitude of 8,300 feet in the Moreno Valley. It's not uncommon for park-goers to spot wildlife, including elk, deer, turkeys, and bears, no matter the season. Grounds are open 24 hours daily, with some partial seasonal closures.
El Vado Lake State Park
This remote reservoir sits in Northern New Mexico's mountain country and is an excellent resource for keen anglers and bird watchers. Anglers come for the stocked trout and salmon while bird watchers catch glimpses of wintering bald eagles and other birds. Outdoor enthusiast can partake in swimming, picnicking, and hiking the local 5.5 mile trail that connects with Heron Lake State Park to the north. This park is located north of Santa Fe and east of Bloomfield.
Manzano Mountains State Park
Set in the Manzano Mountains, Manzano Mountains State Park is located in north-central New Mexico on 160 acres. Founded in 1973, the park is located just south of Moriarty – and immediately southeast of Albuquerque. The New Mexico State Parks Division operates the Manzano Mountains State Park, which features hiking and bird watching – plus fishing and cross-country skiing.
Morphy Lake State Park
Set in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Morphy Lake State Park is located in northern New Mexico near the Pecos Wilderness. Founded in 1965, the park covers 30 acres operated by the New Mexico State Parks Division – just 30 miles north of Las Vegas. Morphy Lake State Park features trout and kokanee salmon – plus non-motorized boating and even ice-fishing. Other activities at Morphy Lake include bird watching and picnicking.
Navajo Lake State Park
Enjoy a day on the lake in New Mexico. Navajo Lake State Park is comprised of three recreation areas along Navajo lake's 250 miles of shoreline. At 15,000 surface acres, this is New Mexico's second largest lake. The Pine River area and Sims Mesa area offer full service marinas and visitor centers, while the San Juan River area below the dam, offers excellent fishing facilities along the river. Favorite activities in the park include fishing, boating, water-sports, scuba-diving, hunting and hiking. The lake is located in northwest New Mexico, approximately 12 miles from Bloomfield. Relax and refresh after a day of fun on the lake – there's always more to see in New Mexico.
Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
Founded in 1982, Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is set in north-central New Mexico near Albuquerque. Covering 38 acres, the site is owned by the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division. Operated by the New Mexico State Parks Division, the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park also features picnic shelters, nature trails, and opportunities for bird watching. The visitor center also feature exhibits, gardens, and a gift shop.
Sugarite Canyon State Park
Plan for outdoor fun in New Mexico. The Sugarite Canyon State Park is located near Raton at the border of the Colorado Rocky Mountains in northeast New Mexico. Park visitors follow an interpretive trail along Sugarite Creek, to see the the once-thriving town and the historic coal-mining camp ruins, from the early 20th Century. Stop by the visitor center to learn about the area's history and coal camp. Recreational activities in the park include, hiking and horseback riding on 13 miles of trails, trout fishing and boating on Maloya and Alice lakes, picnicking and rock climbing.
Sumner Lake State Park
Lying peacefully in New Mexico's eastern grasslands, Sumner Lake State Park's main centerpiece is a 4,500 acre reservoir on the Pecos River. Schools of fish inhabit the reservoir, including bass, catfish, bream, and walleye, allowing for plenty of fishing. For those inclined to move around, mountain biking and hiking trails surround the lake's 60 mile shoreline. Located south of Santa Rosa, the park also offers the standard amenities of any state park, including picnicking, visitors center, and large open spaces for playing, relaxing, and bird watching.
Ute Lake State Park
A large 8,200 acre reservoir, Ute Lake State Park is also one New Mexico's longest. Created by the Ute Dam, this 13 mile long body of water features a range of watercraft and water sport activities. Fishing, boating, water skiing, and swimming are all welcome here. Family friendly activities are plentiful on shore; picnicking and playgrounds are included and can be accessed 24 hours daily. All other needs can be satisfied by a short drive to Tucumcari.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park
The only state park dedicated exclusively to veterans of the Vietnam War lies in the foothills of New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the Moreno Valley, close to Red River. Begun by Victor and Jeanne Westphall in honor of their lost son, David, the memorial now stands as a symbol of national significance. It is also one of the main stops in the annual "Run for the Wall" motorcycle run that honors veterans and prisoners of war.
Attracting thousand of visitors who come to reflect and respect the sacrifice of the lost soldiers, this park features the distinctive sail-shaped Peace and Brotherhood Chapel, a Huey helicopter known as "Viking Surprise" and an informational visitors center that holds collections of war time banners, photographs, and media. The chapel is open 24 hours a day and welcomes all visitors.
Hyde Memorial State Park
Set in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Hyde Memorial State Park covers 350 acres in northern New Mexico near Santa Fe. Operated by the New Mexico State Parks Division, the park is named for Benjamin Talbot Babbit Hyde. Open 24 hours daily, Hyde Memorial State Park features over four miles of hiking trails, bird watching, and volleyball. Winter recreation includes cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing – plus exhibits in the cozy Hyde Memorial State Park Visitor Center.