Home News Local News Watercraft rentals now offered at Grindstone Lake

Watercraft rentals now offered at Grindstone Lake

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Through a private vendor, the Village of Ruidoso is now offering rentals of canoes, kayaks and paddle boards. (Timothy P. Howsare Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

At 3 p.m. on Sunday, the temperature in Roswell was 97 degrees while in Ruidoso it was only 75. Compared to some of our recent daytime highs, 97 is actually a bit on the cool side.

With the Ruidoso being only 70 miles west of Roswell, it goes without saying that it’s a popular weekend destination for Roswellians. And if you look at the license plates, it seems like one-fourth of the population of Texas is either in Ruidoso, elevation 7,000 feet, or that other mountain village, Cloudcroft, elevation 9,000 feet, on summer weekends.

One of Ruidoso’s most popular summer attractions is Grindstone Lake. The clear, blue reservoir gets high marks for its trout fishing on the TripAdvisor website. Hikers and mountain bikers are drawn to the 18-mile trail system in the section of Lincoln National Forest that borders Grindstone Lake, which is inside the village limits.

Non-motorized boats such as canoes and kayaks were already allowed at Grindstone, but you had to bring your own watercraft. Last summer, the village opened the lake to swimming.

When that decision was being made, village leaders kicked around the idea of renting out watercraft.

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“Swimming was permitted last year, and we are continuing to do that,” said Village Counselor Tim Coughlin. “Then the idea to do boats came up.”

Beginning on Memorial Day, a private vendor has set up shop renting canoes, kayaks and paddle boards at Grindstone Lake.

The business, Back Country Attitudes, operates out of a small trailer and is owned by Lance and Jazmin Roe. Their daughter and two sons work for them.

“This is a family business,” Lance Roe said.

Besides renting watercraft, they have a concession that sells snacks and cold drinks.

Lance Roe said business has been steadily getting better since opening day.

Though their contract with the village goes through December, they expect to shut down around Labor Day.

Weather permitting, the business is open Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to sunset and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Back Country Attitudes also is offering “paddle board yoga” classes.

The village has hired another private vendor to provide a new recreation activity at Grindstone — guided mountain bike tours and bike instruction. Both individual and group rates are available.

The name of that vendor is Pinnacle Trail Systems.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you visit Grindstone Lake: A personal flotation device is required for all swimmers 12 years old and younger. Dogs are allowed in the water at Grindstone Lake. Swim at your own risk; there are no lifeguards on duty. A state of New Mexico fishing license for those 12 years and older is required. There are no fees for parking, entrance or picnicking. If you hike or bike on the trails, allow yourself plenty of time and take water. The trails are moderately difficult and there is mobile phone reception throughout the trail system.

Lance Roe said they has something big planned for the Fourth of July. He’s keeping a lid on it for now, but said he will post it soon on the Back Country Attitudes Facebook page.

For more information about Grindstone Lake and/or other parks operated by the Village of Ruidoso, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 575-257-5030 or the Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center at 575-257-7395.