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Farmington trails weave through town

Some of the walkways even lead down to the Animas River
Nell Lindenmeyer finishes her 3.2-mile hike last week on the Nature Trail in Animas Park in Farmington, one of Farmington’s many trails. Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

FARMINGTON – The city of Farmington’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs is encouraging walking city trails with a Walking Trail Guide, available online and to print, that showcases some of the trail highlights of Farmington and San Juan County.

The guide, which can be found at www.fmtn.org/WalkingTrails, is available to read online or to print as PDF versions.

Emma Manzanares of Farmington walks the Westland Trail on Thursday in Farmington. Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Within the guide, there are tips about healthy walking, such as wearing sunscreen, packing water and wearing items to protect from the elements, such as a hat and sunglasses. There are even tips for walking with pets in the sun, perfect for parks like Westland Park and Dog Park that has a half-mile walking trail loop through trees, along the river and on a dirt path.

The park also has a play structure, basketball courts, open turf and shaded trees.

The Walking Trail Guide includes a section about how to start a walking program. The section has tips for maintaining a walking schedule and how to be safe while having fun and getting in shape. There is also a walking log in the guide to help keep walkers on track and engaged.

There are 27 listed trails or walking parks in Farmington and each one has unique features.

"What I love best about Kiwanis (Park) is its location so close to the bluffs,” said Rachelle Crosby, park planner for the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. “It's this great juxtaposition of our arid environment and the lushness and mature trees of the park. There's plenty of space to spread out with a dog or picnic and the walking path connecting Beckland Park is great.”

Different wildlife can be seen near the Nature Trail in Animas Park in Farmington. Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Another well-loved park is Northridge Park Walking Trail, said Christa Chapman, spokeswoman for the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and it is the favorite of one of the department’s business analysts.

Bob and Patti Davis walk their dogs, Chuck and Tesa, on the Westland Trail on their way to the dog park last week in Farmington. Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

“Northridge Park has a more intimate setting and is one of our smaller parks with a nice view,” said Shay Jacquez, business analyst for the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. “It has great playground space and amenities for both young and older kids.”

Shaña Reeves, director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, said while the department provides “many beautiful parks, playgrounds and trails,” one of her favorites would be Westside Estates.

“Nestled in a subdivision on the outskirts of Farmington, this park boasts amazing views of the incredible bluffs and of beautiful Shiprock,” Reeves said. “The park has a great open area to run and play, but also has an exciting play structure. One of the nicest amenities is the lighted walking path, coupled with the exercise equipment – a great spot for multigenerational healthy habits to occur.”

Reeves said Westside Estates is loved by “neighbors who keep a watchful eye.”

“I love Westside Estates because it truly embodies the meaningfulness of parks and recreation in a community: people, space, accessibility, a place to belong and an extension of home,” Reeves said.

Chapman said the city is working on the Among the Waters Trail extension project. The new section of trail will add about 1½ miles to the city’s river trails network running along the San Juan and Animas rivers, Chapman said. The city plans to connect the new portion to trails at Boyd Park to create a continuous route to the Berg/Animas Park trail segments.

Physical copies of the Walking Trail Guide are available at the Farmington Museum; Farmington Aquatic Center; Lions Pool; the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs administration offices at 600 Reilly Ave.; the Farmington Recreation Center; and the Farmington Civic Center.