Trail riders: A trip to Calabasas Trailhead at La Tierra Trails

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Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 7:00 am | Updated: 9:41 pm, Thu Apr 4, 2013.

The parking lot at Calabasas sits atop the La Tierra Trail system on Camino de los Montoyas, not far from where the city limits end and the county begins. It’s high and a bit lonely, except for the cars of old-timers who’ve used the lot for years. A new kiosk lays out the rules and also leaves room for postings, just like a friendly “comment” feature on the Web.

The trail across the road winds down to a mega four-way trail intersection with a map. It’s the big No. 1, the first node on the trail network. Is it a good idea to ignore the map and wander off instead? No, folks used to get lost because there were no markers. Now it’s possible to chart a course, because signs have been added to every intersection, with maps at the main points. There are multi-use (horses, too) or hiker/biker trails (no horses). More than a mile away (the maps include distances to the hundredths of a mile) is No. 2, a ridge trail that looks down into the Arroyo de las Calabasas and up over to the Jemez Mountains in the west. Fix the route in your mind: No. 2 to No. 6 to No. 7, and then back to No. 1, where the car is. Not quite 2 miles, which takes about an hour on foot on single track.

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  • Ruby posted at 7:17 am on Sat, Apr 6, 2013.

    Ruby Posts: 2

    You will note that the comments below come from people who apparently think La Tierra is solely for mountain bikers. The people using La Tierra by foot are having a very different experience!

  • Meetmeatthecross posted at 11:18 pm on Fri, Apr 5, 2013.

    Meetmeatthecross Posts: 1

    Can’t wait for the next Torture Trail ride—great people, great event. And the trails have been made better by all the work put into making them accessible! Ruby, I don’t get your points. How do the signs make existing intersections worse? How is the new “large” parking lot more dangerous than parking on shoulder of the road? I’m familiar with both the old and the new La Tierra trails and personally speaking I think the improvements enhance the usability and access, and don’t “litter” anything (if you really want to talk about litter, lets talk about all the trash that has been dumped out on that side of town illegally for years). I’m glad that La Tierra and other trails around Santa Fe are becoming truly world-class. It benefits residents, helps preserve these natural spaces, and helps our tourism economy as well!

  • Louisa posted at 5:03 pm on Fri, Apr 5, 2013.

    Louisa Posts: 1

    Ruby get a grip. The ' histotic trails' were hacked by mountain bikers with little regard to erosion or direction. The new trails connect and are sensitive to the environment. Mountains of garbage were removed, parking consolidated. And now single women hikers won't run into transient encampments along the way. These trails added to the Dale Ball system forms a network Santa Fe can be proud of for years to come.

  • Ruby posted at 6:54 am on Fri, Apr 5, 2013.

    Ruby Posts: 2

    What a mess you made at La Tierra! Signs are everywhere, trails cross and intersect so bikers are screaming up on hikers in tight spaces, the large parking lot is a joke and sits empty, creating a safety issue for women walking alone. The split rail fence off the massive empty parking lot herds the masses like a cattle stockade, only there are no masses! Historic walking trails used for decades were not respected. You littered the landscape with signs. You have no understanding of respecting open space, and you wasted tax payers money and managed to destroy the beauty of La Tierra. Nice Job!


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