Take a Kid Hiking Day

Enjoying some shade at Sierra del Norte Trailhead on “Take a Kid Hiking Day.”

On Sat., June 17, 2017, SFCT’s Trails Program Manager worked with the City of Santa Fe and local hiking enthusiasts to put on “Take a Kid Hiking Day.”  Thanks go to Elaine Pinkerton, author of “Santa Fe on Foot,” and Richard Polese of Ocean Tree Books, who worked with City Councillor Renee Villarreal to get a resolution passed by Council the preceding Wed. that recognized the day and encouraged families to go hiking wherever they wish.

Arriving at Junction 2, where the loop begins.

 

A focal point for the day was a community hike in Dale Ball Trails starting at the Sierra del Norte Trailhead, where roughy a dozen kids brought their families for a fun and healthy hike.  The outing was kicked off by Councillor Villarreal’s sister, Aimee, who brought her son Joaquin, and read the city resolution and expressed thanks for the natural beauty that we were all about to enjoy.

Joaquin leads the way

Participants then embarked on the popular hiking loop encompassing junctions 1, 2, and 3, where we were joined by Councillor Villarreal.  This hike totals 2.4 miles through the piñon-juniper foothills north of the trailhead; most hikers also took the 1/10-mile excursion from the northernmost point of the loop to check out the nearby La Piedra Trail overlook.

The junction for the La Piedra Trail – “connecting the city to the sky” – is about halfway around the loop.

 

 

This event was an opportunity for the SFCT Trails Program to offer one more chance for kids in the “Passport to Trails” program to earn their fourth and final sticker and win the prize of a hydration pack, an opportunity that was publicized to all 300 kids that we took for field trips in May, which were based out of Cerro Gordo Trailhead to the south.

Clockwise and counterclockwise hikers converge at the northwest corner of the 2.4-mile loop.

 

Thanks also go to La Montañita Co-op and Smith’s for providing snacks and water for the event at Sierra del Norte Trailhead, and to the Lineberry Foundation and S.L. Gimbel Foundation for support to SFCT to develop and implement the Passport to Trails program.

We are also grateful to staff of the Santa Fe New Mexican for coming along on the hike and providing a very nice synopsis of the event in the next morning’s Sunday New Mexican, “Breezes, birds and Bigfoot: Kids explore Santa Fe’s trails.”

Amazing nature: Aimee and Joaquin watch a Piñon Jay feed its babies in a nest hidden in the shade within a piñon tree just off of the trail.

One tuckered-out hiker at the end of the trail.