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Fall for a walk

The 640-acre park is high enough above the city (elevation of about 6,500 feet) to give you a great view of Mt. Taylor to the west, the Jemez Mountains to the north and the Tijeras Arroyo to the south.

The area is home to a network of multi-use trails. Hikers also enjoy two trails for foot traffic only and access to the Sandia Mountain Wilderness area. On the north boundary of the picnic area is the Cottonwood Springs Trail. A special feature of the Cottonwood Springs Trail is the shaded rest stops with original art work by Margie O’Brien interpreting the surrounding environment.

The area is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. (until Nov. 1) with a fee of $1 per vehicle from Monday to Friday; $2 per vehicle fee on the weekends. Downloadable map and more info at cabq.gov.

Bear Canyon Trail

The Bear Canyon Trail is an east-west route through northern Albuquerque stretching from the Arroyo Del Oso Golf Course and connecting with the North Diversion channel via a bridge over I-25 (which is particularly cool when it’s lit after dark). Using this route to connect to the North Diversion trail north is a great way to get to the Balloon Fiesta Park.

The Bear Canyon trail offers nice neighborhood views and a view of the Sandia Mountains that just keeps getting better as you go east. At its eastern end, the trail runs along El Oso Grande Park, a grassy open space with picnic areas and sports fields. Find more information at the City of Albuquerque website, cabq.gov.

Bosque Trail

While the Alameda trailhead is one of the most popular ways to access this 16-mile trail that follows the Rio Grande the length of the metro area, we suggest you explore the southern-most part.

Park in the northeast corner of Central Avenue Bridge. Then take the underpass under Central and head toward Tingley Beach. From here you can enjoy the Tingley Beach Public Art walking tour. This spot allows access onto the Trains at the Bio Park as well. And, you can take the trail further south, which has more shade than the northern sections of the trail.

Info and map at cabq.gov.

Bill Spring Trail

A slightly longer drive (but it’s likely you will have the place to yourself, especially during the week and early weekend mornings) is the Bill Springs Trail. It begins at Doc Long Picnic Ground and ends at Faulty Trail and is open to hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

The Doc Long picnic site has been in use since the 1920s and can be the gateway to several loop hikes of various lengths.

Bill Spring Trail is about a mile long (to the junction of Faulty Trail) and follows an intermittent stream bed. It’s a fairly gentle climb through the ponderosa pine and Gambel oak forest.

Access this trail by taking NM 14 north to the Crest Road (NM 536). Go just over a mile west on Highway 536 to the picnic area. A $3 day fee applies.

More info at recreation.gov and search for Doc Long.

The cooler temperatures of fall make it a great time to spend some quality time outdoors. But the shorter days also mean weekday outdoor time probably has to be close to home.

Fortunately, the Albuquerque area has many great trails (both urban and forest) where you can enjoy the weather, get some great views and get in some exercise if you’re so inclined. Only the trail on the east side of the Sandias takes more than 30 minutes to get to. And all are uniquely Albuquerque.

The cooler temperatures of fall make it a great time to spend some quality time outdoors. But the shorter days also mean weekday outdoor time probably has to be close to home.

Fortunately, the Albuquerque area has many great trails (both urban and forest) where you can enjoy the weather, get some great views and get in some exercise if you’re so inclined. Only the trail on the east side of the Sandias takes more than 30 minutes to get to. And all are uniquely Albuquerque.

Elena Gallegos Picnic Ground

The 640-acre park is high enough above the city (elevation of about 6,500 feet) to give you a great view of Mt. Taylor to the west, the Jemez Mountains to the north and the vast Tijeras Arroyo to the south.

The area is home to a network of multi-use trails. Hikers also enjoy two trails for foot traffic only and access to the Sandia Mountain Wilderness area. On the north boundary of the picnic area is the Cottonwood Springs Trail. A special feature of the Cottonwood Springs Trail are the shaded rest stops with original art work by Margie O’Brien interpreting the surrounding environment.

The area is open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. (until Nov. 1) with a fee of $1 per vehicle from Monday to Friday; $2 per vehicle fee on the weekends. Downloadable map and more info at cabq.gov.

Bear Canyon Trail

The Bear Canyon Trail is an east-west route through northern Albuquerque stretching from the Arroyo Del Oso Golf Course and connecting with the North Diversion channel via a bridge over I-25 (which is particularly cool when it’s lit after dark) . Using this route to connect to the North Diversion trail north is a great way to get to the Balloon Fiesta Park.

The Bear Canyon trail offers nice neighborhood views and a view of the Sandia Mountains that just keeps getting getter as you go east. At its eastern end, the trail runs along El Oso Grande Park, a grassy open space with picnic areas and sports fields. More information at the City of Albuquerque website, cabq.gov.

Bosque Trail

While the Alameda trailhead is one of the most popular ways to access this 16-mile trail that follows the Rio Grande the length of the metro area, we’re going to suggest you explore the southern-most part.

Park in the northeast corner of Central Avenue Bridge. Then take the underpass under Central and head toward Tingley Beach. From here you can enjoy the Tingley Beach Public Art walking tour. This spot will allow you access onto the Trains at the Bio Park as well. And you can take the trail south, which has more shade than the northern sections of the trail.

Info and map at cabq.gov

Bill Spring Trail

A slightly longer drive (but it’s likely you will have the place to yourself, especially during the week and early weekend mornings) is the Bill Springs Trail. It begins at Doc Long Picnic Ground and ends at Faulty Trail and is open to hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

The Doc Long picnic site has been in use since the 1920s, and can be the gateway to several loop hikes of various lengths.

Bill Spring Trail is about a mile long (to the junction of Faulty Trail) and follows an intermittent stream bed. It’s a fairly gentle climb through the ponderosa pine and Gambel oak forest.

Access this trail by taking NM 14 north to the Crest Road (NM 536. Go just over a mile west on Highway 536 to the picnic area.

More info at recreation.gov and search for Doc Long.

Elena Gallegos Picnic Ground

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