David Estes found something he needed at Galisteo Basin Preserve after a move to Santa Fe in the winter, when the coronavirus pandemic was near its peak and the stresses of life were mounting.

Three or four times a week in the months since the move, Estes has taken his bike to the open space trail system near Lamy to ride the ridges, soak in the stunning high desert views and feel temporarily unburdened.

“The thing I’d like to say about these trails is that they’ve saved my life,” said Estes, 44, a New Mexico native and carpenter. “This trail network has been really important to me at a really, really critical time in my life.”


David Estes, front, pushes a wheelbarrow of tools and leads a group of volunteers along a new stretch of trail to reach a build site at Galisteo Basin Preserve during a trail building event organized by the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society last month.


Brent Bonwell, center, a founding member of the Fat Tire Society, provides instructions on how to build drainage into a new trail during a volunteer event last month at Galisteo Basin Preserve.

Matt Dahlseid is a digital enterprise producer and outdoors writer for the Santa Fe New Mexican.

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