The first segment of the Canyon Rim Trail is almost ready for traffic. Over the last year, a variety of crews have developed a 7,600-foot trail corridor south of New Mexico Highway 502 between the guard tower and the East Road Fire Station. Construction required vegetation clearing, grubbing, grading, laying base course and asphalt, and installing a 300-foot bridge. Workers will complete the asphalt work, clean up, and revegetating disturbed areas over the next few weeks.
A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, August 21 at 9 AM. Following remarks by the County Council, everyone is invited to walk, run, blade, stroll, roll, or bike the trail. After walking the corridor about 700 times over the past five years, I look forward to pedaling my bike on the trail.
For those looking for a longer loop trip, and one that you certainly want to walk before biking on, take a look at the work of this summer's Youth Conservation Corps. The YCC improved the existing trail along the north fence of the airport from the airport parking area to the school/county facilities at Pajarito Cliffs. If you start at the Rim Trail parking area and travel the length of the new trail, you can cross Highway 502 just west of the Fire Station where there is a pedestrian cut through the median that leads to East Park. You can pick up the Los Alamos Mesa Trail behind the park and head east. A dirt trail continues through the fence at the east end of the paved trail. Continue past the airport terminal along the canyon rim and pick up the Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail near the terminal. From there it is about 1.8 miles to Pajarito Cliffs.