New Mexico hikers soon to trek the El Camino Real

A planned New Mexico trail will give hikers access to the historic El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, a centuries-old trading route that linked the major cities of Spanish territories in North America.

Santa Fe New Mexico.

Santa Fe New Mexico. Image by Paul Sableman / CC BY 2.0

The new 15-mile trail will link together existing recreational pathways near Santa Fe. Once complete, visitors will be able to access areas like Diablo Canyon and Cajo del Rio. Originally running the 1500 miles between Mexico City and San Juan Pueblo/Ohkay Owingeh, the El Camino Real trade route was first established by Spanish explorer Juan de Oñate, using existing Native American footpaths. It is currently one of the oldest trails in the US. Large sections of the El Camino Real currently exist as a driving route through New Mexico and Texas, but the proposed section near Santa Fe will provide paved pedestrian and bike access to a portion of the historic trail along the border of the Santa Fe National Forest. The trail will also link a network of hundreds of miles of other trails.

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