In partnership with the Forest Service, ECTA has developed a multi-user trail plan for the Talpa Ridge area on the eastern edge of the town of Taos. The goal is to create a shared-use system that will best meet the growing demand for public land access by all non-motorized users, including hikers, equestrians, trail runners, dog walkers, and mountain bikers.
During the community input phase of the Enchanted Circle Trails Plan, the Talpa Ridge area was identified as the top priority for natural surface trail development in the entire region. This area represents the best opportunity for close-to-home access to public lands for the local population of Taos, Talpa and neighboring communities.
The current Version 3 of the plan is the result of extensive community feedback, consultation with a world-renowned trail design firm, and hundreds of hours of ground-truthing by community volunteers.
The proposed trail system employs a “hub and cluster” design that provides multiple routes of different trail style and challenge that diverge and converge at various hubs located throughout the system. This allows for different users to tailor their trail experience and length to their mood on any given day. For instance, ECTA is recommending that Ojitos be a climbing trail, shared by hikers, bikers and horses. To persuade bikers NOT to descend on Ojitos, we propose Tea Time Trail, which would have small features (berms, roll-overs, etc.) that would be attractive to bikers, giving horses and hikers relief from sharing Ojitos with faster DESCENDING bikes.
In order to alleviate pressure on the single USFS trailhead in the area (El Nogal) and the Town of Taos Youth and Family Center, which is the trailhead of the Outward Link Trail that connects to the Ojitos Trail, the plan calls for the addition of 2 new parking areas and trail heads. One is suggested to be mid-trailsystem, located off Maestas road, and the others located on Forest Road 437 along the Rio Chiquito, catering to equestrians. A legal mid-system trailhead somewhere off Maestas would alleviate private property trespassing, giving the community access to the forest while respecting private property.
The proposal is being presented to numerous community groups (Taos Saddle Club, Lions Club, Rotary Club, neighborhood associations, and multiple advertised open community meetings both in person and ZOOM) to attain input. We have adjusted this conceptual trail plan to incorporate constructive input; we have not acted on the suggestion to go play in traffic.
Please note that the Talpa Ridge Conceptual Trail Plan is in planning phase – please do not access the National Forest through routes you find below until they are official.
v3 Overview Video
Download High Resolution PDF: v3 Talpa Ridge Trail Plan – High Resolution.pdf