I finally got back outside! Last weekend I headed to Rio Rancho to explore the Open Space area. I started at the visitor center which was surprisingly open! I went on the Canopy Loop Trail and the River Loop Trail.  Here is how it went!

Open Space Visitor Center

The Visitor Center was the main building you will see when you park to start on the trail. Outside the center there were water jugs and sanitizer which was cool to see! Inside, there was a lot of local art in the main area. The children’s center was closed, but you could still walk around and see what was on display. Someone was at the front desk to ask questions about the space and there were plenty of maps and resources for you to take. There was a small garden in the back where the plants were labeled with decorative tiles.

Canopy Loop Trail

The book that I learned about this trail said the whole hike would be about 2 miles. I ended up walking 4.5 miles for this trail and another trail as well as a little past the trail hiking. The walk from the visitor center had me walk next to a canal. Once I got closer to the open space, I started on a wide dirt walking path. After a while, I realized that I needed to get on a narrower path to start on the Canopy loop. Once on the narrow path, there was a really nice tree cover. While it was warm, the trees kept the hike really nice.

Straying from the Trail

I missed the main turn off to continue on the loop of the canopy loop. I kept walking under the trees on a different path. This little tangent off the main trail was what made the hike so long, but it was super nice to walk on. Eventually, I turned around and headed back on the Canopy Loop Trail.

River Loop Trail

The further I walked down the Canopy Loop the closer I got to the Rio. There were cool little pieces on the trail such as metal art or this little dome. The Canopy Loop met up with the River Loop before the trail led me back out to the wide dirt road. The River loop was very short, but I got a good view of the river.

Back to the Visitor Center and Takeaways

The trails had the same trail back to the visitor center. It was covered which was really nice. I was probably out walking for two hours or so. It was a great activity to get outside and get some vitamin D. The hike could have been shorter as well as longer, but all the trails had little to no elevation change. It was a pretty easy walk and there weren’t too many people out on the trails either. I highly suggest this since it is so close to campus (30 to 45 minutes) and it is a pretty easy walk!

I hope you are able to get out and about soon!

Anna