cross country skiing
Ride the Rail Runner Express to Santa Fe for a glorious day of art, nature, food, southwest culture, & beautiful trails. Rather than rails to trails, the Santa Fe Rail Trail is more of a "rails beside trails." For its entire length, the trail is accompanied by a functioning railroad line. The first 3.5 miles of the trail is asphalt, and it runs right beside the Rail Runner railroad tracks. You may have gotten to Santa Fe on the Rail Runner since it is an affordable and enjoyable transportation option between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. And it is also a bicycle friendly way to get between the two communities since bicycles are welcome on the train. The next 11.5 miles is where the trail becomes unique from other rail trails. It continues to follow an active rail corridor, but that's where the similarities end. From this point on, the trail is no longer paved, no longer straight, and no longer tame. It becomes a dirt-covered roller coaster. Fortunately, the main trail is not overly strenuous, but there are many side trails to entice the thrill seekers among you. The best place to begin your ride is the South Capitol rail station in Santa Fe. This is the second stop on the Rail Runner train route from Santa Fe to Albuquerque and is not too far from the center of Santa Fe. As often seems to be the case, shortly after you begin your ride, you come to a microbrewery called Second Street Brewery. The paved trail continues past the currently inoperable Zia Street train stop until you get to a fork in the train tracks. From here the trail follows the tracks for the route of the Santa Fe Southern Railway. This set of rails is used much less frequently than the Rail Runner track. In fact, from this point on, you have only a small chance of seeing a train while you are pedaling your way down the Santa Fe.