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White Rock took a big step toward revitalizing its town center recently when it officially opened up the Canada del Buey Trail, a trail that begins just south of N.M. 4 on Sherwood Boulevard and ends west of Rover Boulevard.
According to the trail’s planners, the trail is intended to link vital elements of downtown together. That would include the activities center, the public library, and various restaurants and eateries such as Time Out Pizza and the Bandelier Grill.
“This trail will tie everything together in our current commercial district; everything from the Los Alamos National Bank to the Bandelier Grill,” said Katy Korkos, vice chair of the White Rock Master Plan Implementation Committee, the group in charge of the project.
According to Korkos, the trail was also designed in part so the restaurants and other establishments in the area could take advantage of the trail’s location along the Cañada del Buey Arroyo. She and others hope the businesses there will, if they haven’t already, start to build patios, decks and other footpath-friendly accommodations to attract residents who are walking the asphalt trail.
While all of these businesses have been accessible by foot, people that walked or biked often found themselves sharing Longview Drive with vehicles.
Dan Pava, an employee with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, likes the trail. As someone who occasionally takes a walk in the area, he says the trail has improved his experience.
“It does enhance the quality of the walk,” he said, adding that its 10-ft width as well as the black asphalt should also help somewhat in keeping the snow and ice to a minimum when the weather turns cold.
According to Darby Martinez, a liaison to the White Rock Implementation Committee, safety was a big concern, as the committee also recognized the trail could also serve as a connector between Chamisa and Pinon elementary schools. Chamisa is just a couple of blocks from the trailhead on Longview Drive.
“They recognized the need for it, but they also recognized that it also had to be more of a safe passage,” she said.
At the recent opening, a fifth grade class from Chamisa Elementary was on hand to help cut the ribbon for the new trail. Debbie Smith, the principal of Chamisa Elementary, said that not only will the area be safer for the students, but it will also now be easier for them to access the resources of their community. “It will now be easier for them to go to the activity center and the library,” she said, adding that on Wednesdays, some students like to have lunch at Time Out Pizza and the Bandelier Grill. Now that they have the trail, she said, walking to these places should be a safer experience.