Hikes: On Saturday, May 20, five hikers headed out for the Sandia Cave, a 1.1 mile out and back trail in Las Huertas canyon. Our next hike will be in July – watch for the announcement in the July Signpost.
Placitas Hike/Bike Project: Did you know that 65% of New Mexicans participate in outdoor recreation? We’d be willing to bet that percentage is even higher in Placitas. Here is what’s going on with trails in Placitas.
1. We are still waiting for the imminent release of the County-funded feasibility study for a multi-
purpose, hopefully off-highway, bike and walking path near or along NM-165. Until we see the
study, there is nothing to report.
2. When NM-165 is scheduled for an upgrade, it should be brought up to DOT specifications,
including shoulders widened and improved, making them safer for all users.
3. Sandoval County and LPA continue to take part in the NM Rio Grande Trail meetings with
Sandoval County in full support, envisioning the Rail Runner as a connection to trails throughout
the County. Officially designated now are 86.65 miles of the Rio Grande Trail with the study
group outlining a path to connect and complete the remaining 407.5 miles of proposed trail.
Current maps show the trail going through Placitas. This is an ambitious project intended to
serve walkers and runners, local and touring bicyclists, mountain bikers, equestrians, section
and through hikers, bike and back packers, and paddlers.
4. As for trails in the forest, LPA believes that our trails should reduce conflict between forest
users, increase access to public lands, reduce erosion and protect the watershed. We are
facilitating a conversation between some local trail users, the Sandoval County Sheriff’s
Department (which provides law enforcement for the Forest Service here) and the folks who
volunteer to construct and maintain the trails in the Forest Loop area (Placitas Area Trail
Association) in order to learn more about how decisions are made and whether the needs of all
users are being considered. Our first meeting (with no representation from the Forest Service)
was constructive and educational and we hope dialogue will continue among the stakeholders.
We will be communicating with the Forest Service about our observations and concerns.
Be Bear Aware: Our native Black Bears are not aggressive by nature, but interaction with humans is
most likely when they come out of hibernation in spring and in fall when they are packing on pounds for hibernation. In years when there is good moisture and natural food sources are abundant, human-bear interactions will be down and this is one of those years. But every time a bear gets a treat — a bird feeder, animal food or trash — it teaches the bear that people mean food. Practicing precautions in the spring may prevent bears from discovering your home as a food source that they will return to
throughout the year. Read more in our “Be Bear Aware” post.