Celebrate National Public Lands Day on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) Saturday, September 30, by volunteering to work on popular multi-use trails that need a little TLC.  Or take advantage of the third fee-free day of the year to visit your favorite sites on the forest for free.

National Public Lands Day is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands.  Last year, over 200,000 volunteers at 2,600 locations accomplished $18 million in public land improvements.  This year, the SFNF is offering two great opportunities to get outside with friends and family while practicing environmental stewardship:

  1. Lower Winsor Trail on the Española Ranger District (park on south side of Hyde Park Road near Santa Fe Ski Area)
    – Meet at Chamisa Trailhead by 8:45 a.m. for 9:00 a.m. orientation
    – Trail work includes elevating the trail through a narrow section of the canyon
    – Return to trailhead by 3:00 p.m.
    – RSVP to Dean Fry at 505-490-8959 or email thedeanfry@gmail.com
  2. Cabra Loop Trail near Los Alamos on the Española Ranger District
    – Meet at trailhead near Los Alamos Cemetery at 9:00 a.m.
    – Trail erosion issues will be addressed by constructing water bars, grade dips and knicks
    – Return to trailhead by 2:00 p.m.
    – RSVP to Jennifer Sublett at 505-753-7331 or email jasublett@fs.fed.us for tool assignments and questions

Long pants, long sleeves, above-ankle boots, and leather gloves are required for trail improvement work.  Remember your daypack with lunch, water, and sunscreen.  Hardhats and tools will be provided.

Volunteers maintain and enhance more than 300 miles of trails annually on the SFNF.  Nationally, the Forest Service engages over 100,000 volunteers every year.  SFNF Forest Supervisor James Melonas said the forest appreciates and values its volunteers.  “The work our volunteers do throughout the year helps us accomplish our mission of caring for the land and serving people. National Public Lands Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate our volunteers and say thank you.”

As part of National Public Lands Day, fees at all national forests and grasslands will be waived at many day-use sites, such as picnic grounds, non-reserve campgrounds and developed trailheads.  Day-use fees will be waived at standard amenity fee sites operated by the Santa Fe National Forest, except for those reserved in advance through Recreation.gov.

Visitors to the Santa Fe National Forest are encouraged to contact the appropriate ranger district office to confirm which recreation sites are included in the National Public Lands Day fee waiver.

Coyote Ranger District 575-638-5526
Cuba Ranger District 575-289-3264
Jemez Ranger District 575-829-3535
Pecos 505-757-6121
Las Vegas 505-425-3535
Española Ranger District 505-753-7331

The final fee-waiver days in 2017 will be Nov. 11-12, Veterans Day weekend, which commemorates the end of World War I and pays tribute to all military heroes, past and present.

Photo from the Santa Fe National Forest.