FARMINGTON – Construction is underway on a 1-mile trail extension along the San Juan and Animas rivers, part of a larger plan to connect the existing 10 miles of riverside trails, according to the city of Farmington.
The current section of trail under construction – called Among the Waters – starts at Bisti Highway and will travel a mile to end near the intersection of Murray Drive and Highway 64, briefly running alongside the San Juan River and then the Animas River, said Georgette Allen, spokeswoman for the city of Farmington. Construction on the new trail began in September and is expected to be finished in spring 2020.
The city of Farmington has been working with community members and landowners for almost 20 years to acquire parcels of land or rights of way to construct a continuous network of river trails, from one end of the city to the other, said Shana Reeves, Farmington director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.
The trail additions come alongside a recent push by the city to emphasize outdoor recreation opportunities and draw supporters of the industry. In 2018, the city formed the Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative to promote the outdoor recreation activities and attract industry manufacturers.
“It illustrates how the outdoor recreation industry is such a great fit in Farmington,” she said, adding the community has placed a lot of value on trail improvements.
The connecting trails will be similar to previously completed sections that allow people to walk, run and ride bikes, Reeves said. A third of the new section will have lighting, including a section under the Murray Bridge, Reeves said.
Sites Southwest, a landscape architect firm based out of Albuquerque, completed the design of the trail addition at an estimated cost of $680,000.
The city identified a second potential trail called the North Trail extension to keep connecting existing river trails.
“It’s unique that our community values the river trail system,” Reeves said. “The collaboration that goes on between the city and the community and local landowners is a great partnership.”