Sunday, January 22, 2023

Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park

four wing saltbush

We haven't been to this little park since the first year after its opening in 2008. Well, it was also the turnaround point Bill Soules' Tour de Franzia bike ride several years later which I participated in. Anyway back then as I remember the Resaca Trail was basically a path tunneled into the thickets of salt cedar. Now, much of this invasive tamarisk has been removed with burns and eradication efforts still evident and ongoing along the Upland Trail. 

Upland Trail
Salt cedar burn

It's a much different place with open grassland and cottonwoods. There is  room to grow for native willows and tornillo (screwbean mesquite) as well.

Resaca Trail

We hiked both trails on a cloudy and cool Sunday morning (1/15/23). Total distance is around three miles. The main problem with this park is the lack of year round water in the Rio Grande to supply the ponds. Still it was a pleasant walk with bird songs in the branches and just ourselves and our dogs the only users.

The day before we had done a walk along the north trail out of La Llorona Park, another place we hadn't been to in many years. The path is paved now for a little over a mile here. On the south side it is paved for nearly 3.5 miles, ending just before the entrance to the state park. It was quite nice, and almost entirely free of stops to remove goatheads from paws. I'm sure the lack of these devilish thorns has been a boon to bicycle recreationists as well. In the days of the gravel and dirt path the risks of puncture was much greater.

 We did both these walks as part of a mini-staycation we were doing at a Vrbo house in Mesilla. It was nice to get know both these parks again.

NOTE: The courtyard and desert garden at Mesilla Valley State Park are as lovely as ever and would be a wonderful place for any sort of get together.



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