Bicycles, balloons, & the Bosque. These are three of the unique and wonderful attractions in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Paseo del Bosque Bike Trail, known to locals as “the Bosque,” is one of the premier bicycle trails in the southwestern United States. It is even better in early October during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Not only is early fall a good time to ride the trail due to cooler weather, but your chances of spotting gorgeously colorful balloons in the wee hours of the morning is much better, also.
The trail is 16 miles long and since it’s right in the city of Albuquerque, it gets used quite heavily. Yet it never seems crowded and, like on most trails, the bikers, strollers, and skaters all seem happy to be outside enjoying this gem of a trail. And, as an added bonus in addition to the Rio Grande River scenery, the friendly people, and the perfectly graded trail ride, you may be lucky enough to spot a roadrunner, coyote, or deer along the trail. I saw all three of the wild critters as well as hundreds of balloon critters since I was there on October 10 which just happened to be the day of the balloon festival. It couldn’t have been a better day for a bike ride.
To get to the trail from I-25, take Alameda Blvd. going west. Just before you get to the river, you’ll see a sign for trailhead parking on your left/south side of the road. It’s a pretty big parking lot, so it’s hard to miss. It’s also a pretty well-used parking lot, so grab the first vacant spot available.You can ride 32 miles out and back or go for a 35 mile loop. Many of the locals told me about the loop, but nearly every one of them also warned me about goat-heads (thorns) being a nuisance and a very real threat to popping my bike tires on the loop ride. So I opted not to do the 35 mile route. So unfortunately, I can’t tell you too many details about the loop. Besides, I got plenty of fresh air and exercise on the out-and-back ride.