August 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM
'The La Tierra Trail system opened a year or so ago.'
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.
The La Tierra Trail system opened a year or so ago. Located right off Hwy. 599, it includes a motorized technical section (quads, dirt bikes), a bicycle stunts area complete with picnic tables, and miles and miles of multi-use trails that have been very well thought out by the city planners.
Just minutes from Downtown Santa Fe, access to the multi-use areas is Camino de Las Montoyas, the street off Hwy. 599 right by Unity Church. There are a few turnout areas for parking and trailhead access. Thankfully, one trailhead – Frijoles – has adequate parking for horse trailers and horse access through the fence.
Yesterday, Carole and I rode several, but not all of the trails approved for equestrians. Much of it is single track. We rise and fall with the hills, and there are a couple of trails plus the arroyos that are wide enough for side by side riding (and talking).
Arriving mid-morning, we find only a couple of cars in this parking lot. We tack up and cross over the equestrian step through provided for us. A couple of the trails travel along ridges giving us 360-degree views. We can easily spot White Rock, the Sangres, Ortiz, Sandia and Jemez Mountains. The morning breeze is perfect.
Since the trails are designed for everyone, the single-track has lots of twists and turns opening new views around each corner. There are a couple of equestrian loops that take about an hour each with some side trails that can extend riding time when desired. One of these days, we will explore to see if we can ride all the way over to the mailboxes on Camino La Tierra.
The terrain is fairly dense with pinon and juniper trees. The shade the trees provide the arroyos keep the arroyos cool long after the sun is up on the hills.
The newest development is the arrival of more picnic tables covered with latillas for shade right near the Frijoles parking lot. We applaud the city planners for creating such a wonderful outdoor experience for all.