Bosque trails are accessible year-round, but fall, with its glorious color, may be the best season to appreciate the forest. Temperatures through October may reach the 70s or even the 80s at midday. Take hat, sunscreen, and water.
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. From U.S. 380 at San Antonio (1 mile east of I-25) take Old State Hwy. 1 south 8 miles to visitor center. $3 per vehicle. (505) 835-1828 or www.fws.gov.
Bosque Restoration Demonstration Project. Five acres of riparian forest on the east side of the Rio Grande between Central and Bridge, SW, have been restored adjacent to Tingley Dr. From Central turn south on Tingley and drive about 1/2 mile to parking and a 1/2-mile trail. (505) 266-3609 or (505) 452-5210.
Pueblo of Santa Ana. The Cottonwoods Bosque Trail begins below the lobby patio of the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa near Bernalillo. 1300 Tuyuna Trail; (505) 867-1234 or www.tamaya.hyatt.com.
Rio Grande Nature Center State Park. Two short hiking trails through 270 acres of woodlands, meadows, native grasses, and century-old cottonwoods lead from the visitor center. Riverwalk Trail is an easy 1-mile loop and meanders to the river. Bosque Loop Trail is flat and less than 1 mile. From the park you can access the Paseo del Bosque, a 20-mile paved biking and hiking trail through 5,000-acre Rio Grande Valley State Park. 2901 Candelaria Rd. NW; (505) 344-7240 or www.rgnc.org.