Have you heard of the Rio Grande Trail? If not, now you know! The trail is a proposed route that has backing from the State of New Mexico. The State Parks division is the organization overseeing the Rio Grande Trail Commissions efforts. It will be a 500 mile route, essentially following the Rio Grande Valley the entire length of the state. This is a very unique project, aimed at driving the economy of small towns, building tourism and recreation for the state, and giving thru-hikers and bikers an alternative to the Continental Divide Trail (much like the AZT and CT in our neighboring states).
I really liked the idea of this project, so I emailed Stephen Verchinski, a very involved member of the project, for more information. He replied:
“The vision is to create a south to north trail on the Rio Grande Corridor, using a networked system of federal, state, local government and other land managing agencies lands. It will integrate culture, history, natural features, showcasing New Mexico. Modes of transport will consider the river (I have done a large bit of work on that for NM State Parks as head of the Boating Education Program), road bike, mountain bike hike, backpack, and even horseback. The trail may of course use different routes along the corridor. Somewhat similar to this approach is the Camimo Frances in Spain from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compestella an east west 500 mile journey. Ours would go 500 miles south to north. I have started reconnisance in the south and would love the company of observers and those that can Go Pro with the aim to raise awareness of this unique opportunity for our State by doing a video of the findings of fun.”
If any of you are interested in helping out, scouting trail, attending meetings, or voicing opinions, let Stephen know!
His email contact is: firstname.lastname@example.org
The following link provides information about the Commission’s meetings and schedule. as well as notes from previous sessions.
I highly encourage you to get involved with this project! This is a great opportunity to be a part of a unique effort and something that could be huge for mountain bike tourism in the state of New Mexico. Let’s show the State Department how passionate our group is here, and how mountain biking can be an economic driver for our state!