This multi-use, sustainable recreation trail will connect the communities of Questa and Red River to the land, the water, and the people. The trail will enhance the quality of life for locals and visitors, attract and bolster tourism, and spur economic development in both communities.
The idea for the trail along the Red River stems from the removal of mining infrastructure associated with the original MolyCorps Mine, now named Chevron Mine. As pipes from the mine site coming towards Questa are removed, that leaves a corridor that can be re-purposed as a recreational trail.
The initial planning for trail development (Phase I) occurred over a two-year period ending in 2018. This was a collaborative effort between the Carson National Forest, National Forest Foundation, Chevron Mine, Enchanted Circle Trails Association, Questa Economic Development Fund, Village of Questa, Town of Red River, New Mexico Off-highway Vehicle Association, Amigos Bravos Friends of the Wild River, and multiple community members.
Multiple working group sessions were held to consider all aspects of the development and potential impact of this trail. These meetings were open to the public and working group members included elected officials, public land managers, user-group organizations, and the community at large. The results of Phase I efforts can be found here.
After the initial planning period, the Town of Red River listed the project as a priority in its Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan (ICIP) and secured funding from New Mexico to complete an engineering study to complement ECTA’s design. Specifically, the trail will incorporate 10 river crossings, and a section along NM 38 beneath unstable slopes may need to be a raised deck trail to avoid being washed out. This funding was secured as part of a state Capitol Outlay expenditure.
Additional funding for the NEPA environmental study on the trail’s potential impact has also been secured through the Department of Transportation Rec Trail Program (RTP) which will allow the project to go through a full Environmental Assessment to ensure it has a minimal impact on the land and water that is so important to our region.
ECTA is in the process of developing contracts for both the Engineering and NEPA survey per the requirements of the above funding. Once these are complete in 2023, the goal is to secure funding for construction by Summer 2024 or Spring 2025.
Explore the interactive conceptual map here: https://arcg.is/1PWuee