Lawmakers propose 500-mile trail across New Mexico

Could New Mexico have a 500-mile long trail stretching from the state’s northern border with Colorado to its southern frontier?

Several lawmakers said they’re serious about making the Rio Grande Trail idea a reality, though they acknowledged the ambitious project could take years to materialize.

“This trail would be in the style of the Appalachian Trail or the Continental Divide Trail and some of the great, historic trails of our country,” said Rep. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, who’s spearheading the bipartisan effort at the Roundhouse.

The legislation would create a commission to oversee the creation of the trail and come up with its final route. Backers say such a trail would bring more tourists to New Mexico, while also creating recreational opportunities for residents.

Creation of a Rio Grande Trail could tap into the state’s existing trail network, including Albuquerque’s bosque trails, and paths in the Taos and Las Cruces areas, supporters said. The trail idea could eventually be bolstered by private charitable contributions.

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