Sunday, April 26, 2020

Ride: Arroyo de los Chamisos Trail

Santa Fe, New Mexico is a historic city - founded in 1610, it has been a center of the Southwest ever since.  While its history includes being a capital, a trading center, and a highway stopoff, today it is probably best known as a destination for skiing, art, and tourism.  It is also surrounded by excellent mountain biking trails, and the city itself has a few paths that are worth checking out.

The Arroyo de los Chamisos Trail follows a sandy arroyo that runs generally west to east through the city.  The trail is relatively flat and is paved, making it a nice place to acclimate to Santa Fe's high altitude.  By car, the most convenient place to start a trip along the trail is at the Santa Fe Place Mall on the southwest end of the city - it has plenty of parking, and easy trail access.

Starting out on the south-east corner of the parking lot that surrounds the mall, you can use the mall's access trail to get to the main trail.  Head east from the mall, cross the bridge, take a left, and you're on your way!  Passing under Rodeo Road, you'll start out a little cramped for space: the arroyo on your left side, and fences on your right.  But the trail will open up after a bit, turning into a nice ride through chamisa plants with a pretty wide buffer between the trail and the surrounding houses and businesses.  You'll go under the main roads along the way, and you'll have multiple access routes that will take you off the trail and into the neighborhoods along the way.  When you reach Santa Fe High School, the trail curves to the left and away from the arroyo.  The official end of the trail is a short distance farther, where it links up with the Rail Trail.  At this point, you will be about 3.2 miles from the Mall, and you can turn around for an easy out-and-back.  But by continuing north along the Rail Trail, you can reach the Santa Fe railyard after another 2.5 miles.

While the Chamisos trail is a pretty short and easy out-and-back trail on its own, when combined with the Rail Trail it becomes a nice transportation route between downtown Santa Fe and the southwest end of town.  Start planning your trip with at the Wireless Bike Map.

Ride: The Keystone Trail

Omaha, Nebraska is a very hilly city, and the smoothest way to get from one end of town to another is usually to follow one of the streams t...