|Dona Ana Mountains near Las Cruces|
The Rio Grande Trail Commission is scheduled to meet Dec. 20 in
Santa Fe to vote on adoption of
the Rio Grande Trail Master Plan.
The ambitious plan seeks to create a nearly500-mile long trail system along the
corridor to enhance the state’s outdoor recreation industry.
The meeting will begin at , Thursday, Dec. 20 at the
and Archives’ Piñon Room,
1205 Camino Carlos Rey in State Records
Center Santa Fe.
The master plan can be reviewed on the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s (EMNRD) website at http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/. Send any comments about the plan to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commissioners are slated to vote during the upcoming meeting on adoption of a 1.9 mile stretch of existing pedestrian walkway in the city of
Elephant Butte to add to the trail.
The additional mileage will join another 87 miles of trails already adopted that are primarily found within many state parks that exist along the route including Elephant Butte Lake, Caballo Lake, Leasburg Dam, Mesilla Valley Bosque, Percha Dam and the Rio Grande Nature Center.
Existing trails along the river in
Cruces and within the in northern Rio
Grande Corridor National
Mexico also have been adopted, said John Busemeyer, a
planner with the State Parks Division of EMNRD.
The project was launched with bi-partisan legislation and signed by Gov. Susana Martinez in 2015 to create a commission to oversee the project.
The project envisions a nearly contiguous trail system along the Rio Grande Corridor from the
to Texas state lines. The system
when finished would include established trails, interpretive signage and camp
sites along the way.
The plan seeks to bring together on a voluntary basis many different groups including municipal, county, state, federal and tribal government agencies as well as private landowners.
The long-term project when complete will add another destination for outdoor enthusiasts to hike much like the state’s section of Continental Divide Trail (
CDT). The national trail spans
3,100 miles from Mexico
to Canada and
brings thousands of visitors to the state annually.
|Hikers on the Continental Divide Trail at Hopewell Lake in northern New Mexico.|
CDT provides a
rugged, backcountry experience for users, with an emphasis on conservation and
self-reliance but the Rio Grande Trail will offer a more accessible way for
people to explore the state, with less challenging terrain, closer proximity to
cities, and developed amenities, according to the Rio Grande Trail Master Plan.
The industry brings in about $10 billion in consumer spending each year, supports close to 100,000 jobs across the state and generates almost $3 billion in payroll while providing more than $600 million in taxes to government coffers.
For more information about the Rio Grande Trail please visit www.riograndetrailnm.com.