What we heard at the Winter 2017 Virtual Open House
In November and December 2017, nearly 1,000 people from across New Mexico participated in the Rio Grande Trail Virtual Open House. We’ve analyzed the responses and summarized a few important takeaways from the event. This community feedback will shape the recommended route, design, and amenities of the Rio Grande Trail. Input from the Virtual Open House complements in-depth stakeholder outreach, data analysis, and robust fieldwork. The project team will use public insights from the Virtual Open House to help plan a world-class trail network that New Mexico residents and visitors can enjoy.
Participants are well-versed in long-distance trail features and willing to travel to visit a long-distance trail. Half of all people who filled out the survey have traveled to another state to experience a long-distance trail.
Access to nature was the most important benefit, followed by exercise opportunities, and biking or walking for transportation.
The Virtual Open House confirmed that the trail will have a large audience of local and regional users on foot. And with at least 10% of participants choosing every offered trail use, it also showed that the trail will attract a broad range of users.
Most participants are interested in historic and cultural tours, as well as birding or wildlife viewing experiences along the trail. Rafting, canoeing, and kayaking, as well as archaeological tours, were also listed by more than half of participants.
For hospitality provisions, campsites and showers/bathrooms were clear favorites. Picnic sites and playgrounds, along with places to purchase food were also popular suggestions.