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.