Today, a great wooden bridge runs out from the western shore to reach the city of Esgaroth, built anew a few miles to the north of the spot where the bones of Smaug rest undisturbed. Larger than before, the new home of the Lake-people is also constructed upon stilts made of huge forest trees driven into the bottom of the lake, and its buildings, quays and streets bustle with the activities of a folk enjoying a greater level of prosperity than ever before.
Skilful Elves from the kingdom of Thranduil have helped in the reconstruction, and their cunning art is visible in the many arches that bend as gracefully as tree boughs across the wider streets, and in the delicate frets that grace several house facades.

To this day Esgaroth remains a free city, governed by a Master elected from among the old and wise. He conducts the affairs of his office from a Great House in the main Market-place, on behalf of the people of Lake-town and advised by an assembly of councillors. His duty is to safeguard and preserve the peace and riches of the city, administering its trades and policies. In recent years Esgaroth has started to suffer from the proximity of the city of Dale: fearing for the independence of Lake-town, the Master of Esgaroth is tightening his trading and political relations with the Woodland Realm.

The Wood-elves have always been welcome in Lake-town, and much sought-after help arrived from them when the city was destroyed by Smaug. Elves have never stopped being an everyday sight for the Lake-men, both along the quays and in the houses of the most fashionable and influential merchant families.