Inaugural Opening…Shortcut to the Mexican Canyon Trestle.
On Saturday, June 7, National Trails Day, our New Mexico Rails to Trails Association will host the inaugural opening and ribbon cutting of a section of the original rail road bed previously unavailable to the public. This pristine 800 foot stretch of rail-trail is located just up-trail from the Mexican Canyon Trestle, and contains is own trestle and a beautiful, quaint cabin. Gates will open at 9 am, with a short ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 am, and close at 4 pm. Displays and refreshments will be available. This shortcut will only be open to the public on select days during the summer/fall season.
Access to the new section is about 1/2 miles down-trail from the Trestle Recreation area using Forest Service Trails 5001B/5001. The Rec Area is immediately west of Cloudcroft. Signs will be posted. An alternate access is also available via Little Mexican Canyon Road located at the Highway 82 entrance to the Rec Area. This access is also walk in only-no vehicles allowed, and the road is very steep (even steeper on the way back!). And there is no public parking in the immediate area.
Dr. Bonnie Brooks, who has a tremendous affection for the area, recently granted property to the New Mexico Rails-to-Trails Association as part of a life estate deed. The new shortcut is on this generously donated land. Dr. Brooks will be at the ribbon-cutting. NMRTA is preparing the area for visitors to enjoy on June 7th, and is particularly working hard to complete construction of “Bonnie’s Bridge”, a small bypass footbridge that will allow visitors to view the features of the railroad trestle that is no longer safe for public use.
Brooks Cabin on the Mexican Canyon Trail rail bed
It’s that time again! Please join us on May 2 (that’s a Friday) at 6:00 at the Lodge’s Pavilion in Cloudcroft for our ANNUAL MEETING. If you haven’t been to one of our annual meetings in the past, it’s notsomuch a MEETING but more of a casual, social gathering where we’ll feed you some free hors d’oeuvres, talk about what all the local Rails-to-Trails has done this last year and what we plan to do in the future, AND we always have a guest speaker. This year, we have the wonderful Dr. Bill Boverie providing us with a very, very interesting local history! Dr. Boverie will speak to us through the words and character of William Ashton Hawkins, the attorney for the Eddy brothers and was instrumental in the foundation of Alamogordo and establishing the local railroads. This is a unique experience to hear and see Dr. Boverie as Mr. W.A. Hawkins himself (complete with top hat and tails)!
We can also expect short presentations from the Forest Service as well as several local area hiking groups. We expect it to last until around 9pm but it’s a totally open meet so you are free to come and stay as short or long as you like!
We certainly hope to see you up at the Pavilion at 6:00pm, Friday, May 2nd! There’s no admission charge and should be a really great time!
Even though we had to reschedule this month’s workday at the least minute, we had another great turnout! 18 willing and able bodies showed up and met again at the top of the Bridal Veil Falls trail.
We ended up splitting into three groups and spread out a bit on the trail — one group began working on the erosion control culvert area; another headed down the trail and worked on some erosion control (lots of rock-moving) and yet another group followed a forest service worker driving a small excavator, helping spread out the dirt and rocks dug out from the edge of the trail. The ultimate goal was to help give any future water a better place to go rather than wash away the existing trail! The pace was a little slow and some heavy rocks were hauled off the trail, but all in all it was a great success!
Next month, we will continue restoring the 100+ year old erosion control structure and continue trail repair, all in this same area.
Working on the erosion control culvert area
Relocating rocks big and small!
As always, we’ve got many more photos! Check them out on our official Flickr page!