[Cdt-l] New Mexico Mapping Report and Trail Changes

bcss at bresnan.net bcss at bresnan.net
Mon Sep 3 16:54:17 CDT 2012

Here are details from our recent survey of trail changes in NM.  Some of
these changes will affect this year's SOBO hikers. 


First of all, the waypoint files have been updated to reflect the changes.
They are available for free download at www.bearcreeksurvey.com .  If you
want to hike some of these reroutes before we publish the next edition of
the Mapbooks (probably in November), then I would suggest downloading this
new set.  It contains a bit over 1800 waypoints for the state. 


Since most users this year will be hiking SOBO, I placed this information in
SOBO order.  


Carson Forest Segment 31  


New trail is also open between markers 31_093 (of the current mapbook) and
31_135.  The old route has been obliterated so SOBO hikers will naturally
follow the new trail.  NOBO hikers will turn off of the road going north at
31_093 which is 31_103 in the newly updated waypoint files.  There is a
marker at the turnoff. 


New trail segments are constructed between mile markers 31_000 and 31_051.
It is about 300' short of reaching the road at 31_051, so SOBO hikers
wanting to enjoy all this will need to hike off the road at this point to
find the trail.  NOBO hikers will have no issues - the trail is obvious
coming from that direction.  I created waypoint 31_050M to help SOBO hikers
navigate to where the trail begins.  If somebody has time on your hands, a
couple of cairns at this location would be helpful.  Apparently the USFS ran
out of time just before finishing.  



Carson Forest, Hopewell Lake - Segment 29.  Nice, new trail has been
constructed in the vicinity of Hopewell Lake.  Work is ongoing right now,
and SOBO hikers will end up in a bushwhack if they don't turn off of the new
trail at mile 29_245 and get back on the road which is 300' away at that
point.  The trail is marked like it is complete but it is not.  When you
reach 29_245 you will be able to see the road and should go to it.  


Apache NF - 29 miles of nice, new trail has been built which connects
highways 12 and 60, replacing the current route that follows roads to
Pietown.  This is a great improvement over the current road walk, but
presents a few new logistical issues.  The new route hits highway 60 near
Omega, and plans call for more new trail that will once again come close to
Pietown, then head north towards Grants.  When completed, this will nearly
eliminate the long dependence upon roads in the area.  For the time being,
we have mapped the new trail as far as it goes, then put it on dirt roads to
Omega.  Then it follows Omega Road 13.5 miles to a intersection with the old
roadwalk NW of Pietown at mile 17.5 of the current mapbook.  


Omega is 7 miles from Quemado and 14 miles from Pietown.  Quemado has two
motels, restaurants, and some small stores.  Pietown has the Toaster House,
a free campground,  and the Pie restaurants. Both towns have post offices.
Hikers will need to pick one of the two.  I envision that hikers might want
to hitch from Omega, then hitch back to continue north.  Another alternative
is to hike along Hwy 60 to Quemado, resupply, then hike Hwy 36 north 15
miles to rejoin the old route.  


Here are the choices and mileage totals:  

Old route segments 16 and 17 through Pietown to Hwy 36/117 intersection -
69.5 miles (old mapped route)

New route segment 16 and 17 through Omega,  Hike Hwy 60 to Quemado, then up
Hwy 36 to 36/117 intersection -  65.2 miles

New route segment 16 and 17 through Omega to Hwy 36/117 intersection - 64.7
miles (new mapped route)

New route segment 16, Hike Hwy 60 to Pietown, follow old route to Hwy 36 /
117 intersection- 74.7 miles


I was pleasantly pleased to find enough water along the route or nearby.
There are farm ponds, some of which are a bit nasty, windmill tanks, trick
tanks (rainfall collectors), and some springs.  They are all in the
waypoints and will be shown on the maps.   


Although the trail has all been recently built, it is becoming overgrown
quickly so hopefully people will start using it to establish it better.  


Gila NF,  vicinity of Kerr Peak.  About four miles of excellent new trail
that takes hikers off of the rocky jeep trail in the vicinity of Kerr Peak.
The new trail is obvious in a SOBO direction, less so heading north.  It is
between waypoints of 5.4 and 8.5  of Seg 15, (both new and old waypoints)
Crews will be improving and re-locating trail from this point on to the end
of the segment over the next two years or so. 


I will be heading to WY and MT next week to get changes up there.  Plan is
to have revised mapbooks for all four states available sometime in November.



best wishes,


Jerry Brown (bearcreek)

mailto:bcss at bresnan.net



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