SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Forest Service reports that like many other areas on the Santa Fe National Forest, the Rio en Medio Trail has seen an increase in visitors during quarantine. However, the trailhead is a single-lane county road that crosses private property and there is limited parking available.
The Forest Service says that residents of the Rio en Medio community are fed up as visitors are leaving trash on private property, parking illegally on the road and in the fire lane, trespassing, and some are even urinating and defecating on residential property and within 100 feet of the river which is the community’s primary water source. The SFNF and Santa Fe County are now working with community residents on a solution to these issues.
“The Rio en Medio Trail follows a beautiful mountain stream that passes by a cascading waterfall,” said Española District Range Sandy Hurlocker in a press release. “We understand why hikers love this trail, perhaps almost too much, but we also understand the community’s frustrations. It is up to everyone to recreate responsibly and respect both private property and public lands.”
This could result in the possibility of closing the trail at least temporarily and finding alternative parking options. In the meantime, visitors should not park on the shoulder or block other vehicles in designated parking areas which only has space for three to four vehicles.
Hikers with dogs must keep them on a leash so they do not interfere with other visitors, residents, or livestock. The public is asked to recreate responsibly and follow all federal guidelines as well as state public health orders.