On October 13 Cuba was honored by a visit from US Forest Service (USFS), US Bureau of Land Management and Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) leadership for the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST). They were hosted by Ranger Jaime Bennett and Natural Resource Specialist Jeff Bell of the Cuba Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest, and Richard Kozoll and Alejandro Ortega of the Step Into Cuba Alliance.
Cuba was the second designated CDNST Gateway Community and a proposed new segment of CDNST will bring the trail to within two miles of the Village limits. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize USFS CDNST lead Brenda Yakoviac, and others new to the proposed re-route, with the Cuba area and new Trail segment challenges. Brenda was accompanied from Colorado by Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the CDTC and already a friend of several persons in the Cuba area.
The group met at the new Becker-Mace Nature Trailhead, where the new route crosses the Rio Puerco under the highway just south of the Piedra Lumbre Road. We then visited the Sandoval County Fairgrounds, expected to be of great support to persons hiking the new trail route. From the Fairgrounds we hiked a half-mile of the route from County Road 11 to a ridge overlook of the Arroyo Hondo and Cuba Valley. The group then looked at the proposed route’s NM 126 crossing before ending the tour.
The route is undergoing an environmental assessment that should be completed in the near future. For people with questions about or interested in volunteering with the CDNST project, contact Richard Kozoll at 505-249-5733.