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Coming off of the southern end of Albuquerque's lovely Paseo del Bosque Trail, the Chris Chavez Trail provides an additional five miles of paved trail that forms a nearly-complete loop around an industrial section south of the city and west of the airport. Named for a local firefighter, Chris Chavez, who was killed while biking to work, the trail offers a pathway to help provide a safe route for cyclists and pedestrians so that hopefully further tragedies can be avoided.
Starting from the southern end of the Paseo del Bosque Trail, you continue south under the roadway and along a nice slice of natural land that borders the Rio Grande. The trail itself does not border the river but rather a smaller drain, but still offers pleasant scenery and greenery to admire. The scenery becomes a little less natural as the trail turns east to follow the concrete-lined South Diversion Channel, and then turns northeast to follow a smaller channel that passes through an industrial stretch of town populated by salvage yards and the like. As the trail approaches Rio Bravo Boulevard once again, you'll find a small gazebo structure installed to provide a shaded rest area for trail users, featuring a memorial plaque and sculpture dedicated to Chris Chavez. From there the trail travels west along the side of the boulevard, coming to an end where the trail morphs into the little-used Dean Drive just a short distance away from where you started, making for an easily-completed loop.
While somewhat less scenic than the longer riverside trail that it springs from, the Chris Chavez Trail provides a great recreation path for anyone looking for a loop trail as opposed to an out-and-back experience.
Parking is available at the picnic area adjacent to the start of the trail, located just north of Rio Bravo Boulevard off of Poco Loco Drive. The trail is also easily accessible from the Bernalillo County Station of the Rail Runner train system - from the station, just follow 2nd Street south for a long block until you reach Rio Bravo Boulevard; the trail runs on the south side of the road.
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