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Trekking Across The Terrain

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Living in or around Socorro means you’re never too far from an opportunity to get outside and take advantage of the diverse landscape. That terrain, paired with huge expanses of public land, is ideal for both the serious and the casual mountain biker and trail runner.

The Quebradas Back Country Byway, located on U.S. Bureau of Land Management public land east of the City of Socorro, offers the remote and charming scenery of the northern Chihuahuan Desert and views of the river valley and distant mountain ranges. The 9.1-mile Quebradas Single Track winds through desert canyons and ridges with a 700-foot elevation change. Closer to town, the Socorro Single Track — starting out from the truck by-pass road west of the New Mexico Tech campus — is a nine-mile desert venture varying roughly 600 feet in elevation.

For the adventurous mountain biker or trail runner preferring a more mountainous setting, the Chupadera Wilderness Track is an 9.5-mile round-trip ride to and back from Chupadera Peak on the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. It begins at an elevation of 4,475 feet and peaks at 6,237 feet. The Copper Canyon/Magdalena Crest Loop is a high-elevation trail looping to the top ridge of the Magdalena Mountains and back via pine forests, mountain meadows and canyons.

A more casual rider or jogger might prefer any one of the numerous roads and ditch banks running south to San Antonio and north to San Acacia. Embark up the Langmuir Lab Road to the 10,710-foot summit of South Baldy, located in the Magdalena Mountains west of Socorro, is yet another option.

The Socorro Striders and Riders Club is the perennial local force behind many running, walking and riding events in the area.

A big summer draw for Socorro comes the first weekend of August in the form of the annual Chile Harvest Triathlon, which nets approximately 250 participants and attracts athletes of all skill sets from hundreds of miles away. Competitors swim 400 meters, bike 20 kilometers and run five kilometers. In 2010, a youth triathlon was successfully added for athletes ages 7 through 16.

For more information on the event, visit www.chileharvesttri.com, and for more information on regional mountain biking in Socorro County, visit www.socorro.com/fattire/trails.

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