Thursday, September 28, 2000
Leisurely Winsor Trail Hike Eases the Soul
By Sue B. Mann
For the Journal
In these autumn days of warm sunshine and golden cottonwoods, getting out of doors to hike a mountain trail satisfies the soul like a cool slice of lemon pie.
HIGHLIGHTS: Tall ponderosa pines and frequently changing terrain. LOCATION: From the Santa Fe Plaza, go north on Washington Avenue (which becomes Bishops Lodge Road at the city limits) and drive one mile past the entrance to Bishop's Lodge. You will see a black arrow pointing left, but turn right onto the dirt road. Drive a short distance, then park at one of two identified trail areas. Respect the "No Parking Beyond This Point" sign. Walk a short distance up the road to a rock pillar with wooden posts. Cross Tesuque Creek and follow the river upstream past an old vineyard and orchard. DIFFICULTY: Easy ROUND-TRIP DISTANCE: About 3 miles. However, Winsor Trail No. 254 extends all the way (71/2 miles) to the Santa Fe Ski Basin and beyond to the Winsor Creek Campground (another 5 or so miles). ELEVATION: From 7,100 to 7,600 BEST SEASONS: Year-round MAPS & INFORMATION: Santa Fe National Forest Map Printable map
If you head for Winsor Trail in the Santa Fe National Forest, you can enjoy a two-way hike on both the north and south sides of Tesuque Creek.
Stop anywhere to perch on a rock and don't be surprised if you hear the sound of a woodpecker or see the flash of a blue jay in the creekside trees.
On entering the Santa Fe National Forest, walk to the right as Winsor Trail No. 254 climbs above Tesuque Creek. You will notice the trees are suddenly taller, thanks to the added presence of ponderosa pine.
This is neither a strenuous nor a long hike, although some bikers will be heading all the way to the top of Santa Fe Ski Basin.
For a shorter hike, turn at the large ponderosa pine with red bark, cross the foot bridge, sit on a trunk and eat your picnic lunch before making your leisurely way back. This hike makes a perfect afternoon outing.