October 16, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Albuquerque Gold

"The Rio Grande turns into a brilliant gold ribbon when the Cottonwood trees change color. That time of year is fast approaching, so we decided to check out Paseo del Bosque Trail in Albuquerque."

By Susie Morgan

Hoof Prints in Santa Fe

Susie Morgan is a lifetime lover of horses, the outdoors and lives for adventures. She lives in Las Campanas, and is reconnecting with horses after working 27 years in New York City.

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The Rio Grande turns into a brilliant gold ribbon when the Cottonwood trees change color.  That time of year is fast approaching, so we decided to check out Paseo del Bosque Trail in Albuquerque.  The trail system is almost 16 miles long providing plenty of riding options.

With cooler temperatures and the absence of summer crowds, this is an ideal time to hit this equestrian trail.  There is a parking lot on both sides of Alameda Street and both are accessible for horse trailers, although the one on the north side of the street is tighter.  We have ridden the canal bank in both directions but today we chose the north side so we can ride amongst the trees. 

The north side equestrian trailhead entrance is a walk-over of telephone poles that leads to the canal bank access road.  This is an easy ride for a lazy day as the ground is fairly flat with good footing.  We took the access road for about 2 miles then decided to turn left over a bridge and ride on the far side of the canal.  Mallard ducks were taking a swim or basking in the sun, while one man was fishing from the canal bank.

Following our noses, we crossed back over the canal and dropped into the Cottonwoods along the bank of the Rio Grande.  There are hike/bike trails that weave through the Cottonwoods and Salt Cedars.  Some of the Cottonwoods have massive trunks and tower over us.  Occasionally, the trail provides glimpses of the Rio Grande itself, and when the trees part, we great a great view of Sandia Mountain.

Weaving through the Cottonwoods, it became clear that someone has gathered small logs and branches to create a few small jumps.  One or two were irresistible. 

Returning to the trailers, we enjoyed a small picnic before loading up to head home.  We hope to return again when the Cottonwoods are in their full fall glory.

Information about Paseo del Bosque Trail:  http://www.cabq.gov/parksandrecreation/open-space/lands/paseo-del-bosque-trail

Trail Map:  http://www.cabq.gov/parksandrecreation/documents/RGVSP2.pdf

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