Wednesday, May 5, 2021

New Mexico: Swell of hikers and bikers during pandemic leads to surge of support for trails - Full Article

By Matt Dahlseid
May 2, 2021 Updated May 3, 2021

David Estes found something he needed at Galisteo Basin Preserve after a move to Santa Fe in the winter, when the coronavirus pandemic was near its peak and the stresses of life were mounting.

Three or four times a week in the months since the move, Estes has taken his bike to the open space trail system near Lamy to ride the ridges, soak in the stunning high desert views and feel temporarily unburdened.

“The thing I’d like to say about these trails is that they’ve saved my life,” said Estes, 44, a New Mexico native and carpenter. “This trail network has been really important to me at a really, really critical time in my life.”

Hikers and bikers have flocked to the trails at unprecedented levels during the pandemic, many seeking similar solace. With little to do for fun while businesses and entertainment venues were closed under public health orders, the restrictions recalibrated the relationship people have with the outdoors.

An enhanced appreciation for local trails has sparked a surge in interest for stewardship as people have come to realize how essential they are for their physical and mental well-being...

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