New Mexico Hiking, Nature August 22, 2017
Here Are The 8 Best, Most Beautiful Walking Trails To Take In All Of New Mexico
Ready to leave the office behind and hit the great outdoors? Fresh air. Sunshine…. Really, most anything beats a cubicle or stuffy store, but a short walk can clear your head and boost your energy. Plus – don’t tell anyone – a brisk walk, even a couple of times a week, is good for you.
You don’t need to be a hardcore hiker to enjoy these scenic trails; these are
walking trails. In fact, several have been rated for all users, even those in a wheelchair. Best of all, these parks or right in the city, or just a short drive away.
1. Bottomless Lakes State Park, Wetland Trail (Roswell)
Legend has it that cowboys on the trail named the "bottomless" lakes when their ropes didn't reach the bottom of the lake. There are two trails here around the lakes. Loop 1, over the boardwalk, is .27 of a mile. Loop 2 is a mile on hard-packed dirt, with some slight grade changes. When you're done hiking, the park also offers swimming, paddle boats and fishing. Find Bottomless Lakes State Park 12 miles east of Roswell off Highway 380.
2. Dragonfly Loop Trail (Silver City)
Dragonfly Trailhead opens up to a to a network of trails, but look for Dragonfly Loop Trail #720. The trail is natural dirt and the surface grade varies. If you are up for it, hike the two miles and look for the dragonfly petroglyph. The trailhead is located roughly three miles east of Silver City on the north side of US Highway 180.
3. Frenchy's Field (Santa Fe)
Once the home of Frenchy's Dairy, this city-owned land is now called Frenchy's Field. There are two walking loops here. Loop 1 runs for .35 of a mile. Loop 2 is a bit longer at .48 of a mile. Both trails are flat and the main path is paved. Enjoy wildflowers here along with easy access to the scenic Santa Fe River Trail. Find the park at Agua Fria, near Osage, in Santa Fe.
4. Green Acres (Clovis)
Trails and pathways zigzag through this park. The main walking path is flat (cement), running a distance of .75 of a mile. Other facilities here include tennis and basketball courts and a stocked lake for fishing. Green Acres Park is at 1800 Main Street, in Clovis.
5. Pioneer Women's Park (Las Cruces)
Pioneer Women’s Park covers 2.1 acres in a beautiful, historical neighborhood. The walking path is a flat, .4 of a mile and is wheelchair accessible. Dogs are welcome a leash. The park is right downtown at 500 West Las Cruces Ave, in Las Cruces.
6. Ruidoso River Trail (Ruidoso)
Ruidoso River Trail, at Two Rivers Park, is one of the city's newest trails. Enjoy public art on the .63 of a mile walking path, or venture all the way down the 1.25-mile paved path that curves along the Rio Ruidoso. This park is located behind the Chamber of Commerce on Sudderth Drive at 100 Robin Road, at the junction of the Ruidoso River and Carrizo Creek, in Ruidoso.
7. La Pasada Encantada Trail (Cloudcroft)
La Pasada Encantada Trail #233 begins at Forest Road 24B. The .4 of a mile walk over pea-gravel has a slight grade. This trail was designed with blind and visually-impaired walkers in mind. Braille interpretive signs dot the way. Additionally, walkers are encouraged to experience their surroundings by touch. Find the trailhead immediately next to the Sleepy Grass Campground, in Cloudcroft.
8. Los Poblanos Open Space (Albuquerque)
Enjoy the wildlife and check out the community garden at this site. There are three different loops here. Loop 1 is one mile. Loops 2 and 3 are both just shy of a full mile. If you're enjoying the breeze and are up for a "big one," combine the paths for a hearty five-mile jaunt. Los Poblanos Open Space, in Albuquerque, is at Montano and Rio Grande Boulevard, NW. However, access is easier from 4th Street, then west to the site.
Do you have a favorite place to walk? Tell us where it is! Meanwhile, if you are ready to get out and start walking and your city isn’t on our list, check out
prescriptiontrails.org. The website has a database of safe walking and wheelchair rolling routes across nine New Mexico counties.