New hiking trail planned in Santa Fe area

Juan de Oñate, colonial governor of New Mexico, once used El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro to travel from Mexico City to a new Spanish settlement near San Juan Pueblo, now called Ohkay Owingeh, where he established the first capital of the province of New Spain.

Now a portion of that route — the Royal Road of the Interior Lands — is set to be part of a new 15-mile trail linking the Santa Fe River Trail to the Municipal Recreation Complex on Caja del Rio Road and to recreation sites farther north, along Old Buckman Road, such as the popular trail through Diablo Canyon.

Once the new segment of the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail and the MRC Trail are complete, along with the final stretches of the River Trail, “People will be able to go from downtown Santa Fe out to Cajo del Rio and Diablo Canyon on bike or foot.”

The new trail also will link to hundreds of miles of other trails on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

“The Big Friggin Loop” is the Grand Unified Trails System, an initiative to develop a loop of connecting trails around the greater Santa Fe area by 2020. Some of those trail systems include the La Tierra Trails, the Dale Ball Trails and trails in the Arroyo Hondo Open Space.

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