Sunday, September 25, 2016

Santa Fe Trail-Building Projects Lurch Forward

Drilling equipment setting the bracing for the new underpass
Work on the Acequia Trail Underpass began in earnest this weekend. Equipment has been hauled to the site and orange barrels are in place for the start of weekday traffic. This is a major piece of our new urban trail/pedestrian/cycling infrastructure which will surely incite cries of commuter agony for the next six months followed by decades of value, appreciation, and laudatory expressions of foresight and vision from future generations of Santa Feans.

This project and other have been held up all year due to City budget deliberations despite segregated allocation of funds between park and trail bond receipts and the city's general fund. Don't get me going on this topic, point being the new work is rolling now since a lot of the scheduled projects have completed the required planning and public input stages, committee approval, bidding, etc.

Santa Fe Conservation Trust volunteers at work on the new footbridge
at Camino de las Animas
Smaller less visible projects that have been completed in the meantime include a new extension of the Acequia Trail at Harrison Rd and La Cieneguita St;  A new footbridge over the ditch at Camino de las Animas (useful connector east onto Agua Fria and Canyon Rds; old bridge was all peligroso); Engineering and trail work on the unofficial north/south footpath in the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve; and the new work on the far east end of the River Trail - replacing and installing sidewalk along Alameda up to Patrick Smith Park.

The new footpath extension at Santa Fe Canyon Preserve.
Not yet officially completed or opened to public use.
There has also been several additions of bike lanes on city and county roads including Old Santa Fe Trail south of St. John's College through to El Gancho Way; New lanes on Siringo Dr. from St Francis Dr. to Llano St.

Major projects and additions anticipated for 2017 include the Pen Rd section of the Rail Trail (thru to Alta Vista), and the 15mi El Camino Real Trail along Buckman Rd from the Rio Grande to Caja del Rio Rd west of town. This second project is being managed by BLM and the National Park Service thankfully, removed from dependence on the City and it's various governing committees.

New bike lane off Old Las
Vegas Highway
The Harrison Rd connector
near Rufina; Acequia Trail
Related Posts:
 - Acequia Trail Underpass Groundbreaking/Announcement (Aug '16)
 - Acequia Trail Underpass GreenLit (Aug '15)
 - Arroyo Chamisos Underpass (2012)

Monday, September 5, 2016

New Fall Trail Races - Ultra Santa Fe and Bull of the Woods

There are a couple of new trail races on the schedule this Fall with a lot of potential:
  - The inaugural Ultra Santa Fe at the ski basin (Sep 10th), and
  - The inaugural Bull of the Woods Trail Run up in Taos Ski Valley (Sep 17th).

Ultra Santa Fe - 13mi/50km/50mi, Sep 10, 2016
Santa Fe's first organized ultra at both 50k and 50mi distances. Race directors Peter Olson and Taylor Pardue have done a ton of work and promotion to launch this new race. The courses are terrific (including the first rate maps setup on the race website), starting/finishing at the ski area lodge and descending the network of forest service trails on to Dale Ball in town (great race viewing, cheering, and cow-belling) before circling back up the mountain.

As of this writing there are 66 entries to the ultra distances and another 75 at the half marathon distance. This is going to be the new area test-piece, and the scheduling ties in beautifully to the fall trail racing calendar: it's one week before the Bull of the Woods Trail Run and Buffalo Thunder Half (Sep17), three weeks before Big Tesuque (Oct 2), and five weeks before Pajarito and Duke City (Oct 17).

More details and registration info at the event website here.

SF Reporter write-up - 6/29/16
SF New Mexican write-up - 9/1/16

Bull of the Woods Trail Run - 8mi, Sep 17, 2016
A couple of local trail runners in Taos have managed to get approval at the Northside@Taos Ski Valley trail system to stage an 8 mile high altitude race. The mostly singletrack course runs between 10,000-11,000 feet elevation with magnificent views of Gold Hill, Kachina Peak, and Lobo Peak. The expectation is that in years to come the race will be expanded into offering longer distances, and perhaps a combination run with the Taos Ski Valley Up-&-Over, and potentially part of a Northern New Mexico trail race series!

More details and registration info at the event website here.


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