The Sacramento District Review – May 2013

In this Month’s Issue:
A Trail For All Ages
Evening Lecture Series
Slash Pit Schedule
Kids Corner
The Sacramento District Review is a monthly newsletter prepared by the Sacramento Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest.


A Trail For All Ages

-Heather Berman

An interpretive sign along the La Pasada Encantada Trail

The La Pasada Encantada Trail, meaning the Enchanted Path, is a ½ mile long hiking trail located in Cloudcroft, New Mexico.  For those of you that are avid hikers, the short distance may not seem of interest to you, but wait, there is more.  The La Pasada Encantada Trail is a unique trail.  Originally built in 1970, this trail was designed for the visually impaired, specifically for the students attending the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

The trail was originally designed with 20 interpretative stations that featured written text and braille.  The trail also had picnic tables, benches, and what we call bumpers.  Bumpers frame the trail to provide the visually impaired with boundaries on each side of the trail.  That was 43 years ago.

Today, the trail looks similar but updated.  From 2009 to 2012, the Recreation Department on the Sacramento Ranger District, along with many others, worked to reconstruct this unique and wonderful trail.  We installed new bumpers, picnic tables, benches, and interpretative signs.  We added some activities as well, specifically in relation to the interpretative signs.

The interpretative signs may be one of the most interesting features on the trail.  Each sign focuses on a different topic in both written text and braille and indicates the distance to the next sign and which side of the trail it is on.  Some signs have additional tactile features, such as animal tracks.  The purpose of these signs is not only to discuss aspects of the forest, but to depict them through the three senses.

The La Pasada Encantada Trail

Why only three senses? One, the trail is designed for the visually impaired and two, we do not usually recommend people taste the forest. The 20 interpretative signs emphasize the smell, feel, and sound of the forest.

Each sign encourages the reader to engage in an activity associated with the topic of discussion.  For instance, my favorite station is number 11, titled buy nexium hong kong ‘Tree Rings and Tree Height’.  At station 11 you can complete two activities; determine the age of a tree by counting its tree rings with the touch of your finger and you can see how tall trees can grow by putting one foot in front of the other.  Other topics displayed along the trail include ‘Mound of Rock’, ‘What Animals Leave  Behind’, ‘Sounds of The Forest’, and ‘Fossils’.  I could tell you more, but hey, why not go see for yourself.

If you’re interested in hiking the La Pasada Encantada Trail, and by now hopefully you are, then here’s how you get there.  Head to Cloudcroft and turn south on Highway 130.  Pass the Sacramento Ranger District office and travel another ¼ of a mile.  Right across from the Deerhead Campground is the Sleepygrass Road, Forest Road 24B, turn left here.  Travel up the paved road about one mile passing the group campgrounds, Aspen and Black Bear. Right before you enter the Sleepygrass Campground, stop and park to your right.  You are now at the trailhead to the La Pasada Encantada Trail.

A trail for all ages, the La Pasada Encantada Trail is a great way to spend the day!  Bring your family and friends, have a picnic and explore the forest with all your different senses.

“In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with.”

-Brian Tracy


Evening Lecture Series

The May 9th lecture, “Hiking the Sacramento Ranger District Trails” will be presented 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Sacramento Ranger Station, #4 Lost Lodge Rd. in Cloudcroft.

Volunteer guided hikes start in mid May.  Call 575-682-2551 for more information.

Upcoming Lecture (tentative): June 13th – Area Observatories & Light Pollution

For additional information please call 575-682-255.


Slash Pit Schedule

Sat., April 20th 9am-1pm
Sat., April 27th 9am-1pm
Sat., May 4th 9am-1pm
Sat., May 11th 9am-1pm
Sat., May 25th 9am-1pm
Sat., June 8th 9am-1pm

 Dates and times could change due to weather conditions or unexpected complications.

Limbs, branches & brush only. No trash or construction materials.


Kids Corner

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