New Mexico's Rio Grande Trail Commission

Published Apr 22, 2015

New Mexico State Representative Jeff Steinborn proposed the Rio Grande Trail (HB0563).

New Mexico State Representative Jeff Steinborn proposed the Rio Grande Trail (HB0563).

New Mexico State Representative Jeff Steinborn (D) has served the state's 35th District since first being elected in 2007. He proposed legislation (HB0563) in February of 2015 to create the "Rio Grande Trail Commission" to spread the trail across the entire state.

Press outlets are comparing the 500-mile Rio Grande Trail to the much larger Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine through 14 states.

According to HB0563, Rep. Steinborn hopes to create, organize and fund the Rio Grande Trail Commission to facilitate the growth of the trail.

That commission would "establish the Rio Grande trail to run the length of the state from Colorado to Texas. The commission shall define and recommend viable path routes of the Rio Grande Trail, mitigate challenges related to its establishment and define and recommend other features, facilities and enhancements needed on the trail."

Portions of the trail exist already. According to the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, they manage "the greatest portion of the Rio Grande Trail which runs from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, Colorado. The Rio Grande has 42 miles of continuous multi-use trail and is completely protected from vehicular traffic except at intersections. The Rio Grande Trail is a rails to trails project which is built in the Aspen Branch of the historic Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. Train operations in the corridor ceased in phases, between the 1960s and the mid 1990s."

The proposed Rio Grande Trail Commission would have the responsibility to:

  1. define and recommend viable path routes of the Rio Grande trail that shall be contiguous where possible and include only land that is expressly authorized by the owner for inclusion in the Rio Grande trail;
  2. mitigate challenges related to the Rio Grande trail's establishment, including facilitating negotiations and discussions with landowners and jurisdictions surrounding the Rio Grande;
  3. define and recommend other features, facilities and enhancements needed on the Rio Grande trail.

We commend Rep. Steinborn and others who support HB0563 for their work in making this trail a path all across New Mexico.

Click Here for HB0563: Rio Grande Trail Commission


Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, and Conservation

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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Comments
J.Wapiti on Mar 2, 2015
Please note that the "Rio Grande Trail" in Colorado actually runs along the Roaring Fork River, from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, and not along the actual Rio Grande. There are portions of trails in New Mexico that already exist along the Rio Grande, and which could be connected via HB 563, but the trail systems mentioned in Colorado is incorrectly attributed.