Hitting the Trail is a weekly feature here at Mud Puddles to Meteors. In each post we will share trails, parks, beaches, and museums from around the country (and sometimes even beyond). If you would like to join in and share a special nature location please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details listed at the bottom of the post and links to the photos. We would love to share your nature adventure!
Riverwalk Trail (Farmington, New Mexico)
While living in New Mexico last year one of our favorite trails was the Riverwalk in the middle of town. In the high desert rivers provide food and water for a wide variety of creatures and this walk always provided glimpses of wildlife including mule deer, Canada geese, mallards, skunk, a variety of insects, along with signs of beaver and other nocturnal critters such as raccoons. There were always new things to see and explore. The following photos were taken across many walks along the river which we enjoyed in all seasons.
Some Things to Know
Location: Farmington, New Mexico
Habitat: Riparian and high desert woodlands
Favorite Animal & Plant Life: This area attracts a wide variety of wildlife. With the abundance provided by the river, and access to food from humans, many animals not only come to visit but stay year-round. Mule deer can be seen daily, along with Canada geese, mallards, and a great variety of small birds and birds of prey. It is a treat to see a heron on the river or flying overhead. In the summer months the river is teeming with fish, crayfish, and aquatic insect life such as dragonfly nymphs.
Special Features: There is an extensive trail system the weaves along the river and through the surrounding woodlands. The system includes two foot bridges that cross the river and provide a wonderful vantage point for watching the water and wildlife such as mallards and geese. There is also a wonderful nature center and an amazing xeriscape garden at one end of the trail. (We will share more about the garden and nature center soon.)
Best Time of Year to Visit: This trail is easily walked year-round. While it does snow in this area it usually does not stick around for long and the trails do not get very icy. The fall is particularly beautiful with the cottonwoods putting on a blazing yellow display as they change for the season, but the summer holds the possibilities of river exploration and swimming.