Rio Grande water levels reach 4-year high, flooding trails

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Rio Grande hasn’t been this full since 2019. While some trails are underwater, like the one under the Central bridge in the bosque, the city’s Parks and Recreation director says it’s well worth it.

“It’s a great benefit to the bosque overall,” said Dave Simon with Parks and Recreation.

Simon said many of the cottonwood trees in the bosque are reaching the end of their natural lives.

“Now that the climate is changing, we have to work harder to protect and restore the bosque,” he said. “We need to work as much as we can with nature to help rejuvenate these cottonwoods and willow forests.”

The cottonwood seeds blowing around germinate in flood waters. Simon said the city and its partners have worked to intentionally create areas the river will flow into the forest, to try and encourage new growth.

With water levels higher than they’ve been in four years, they can see if their work is paying off.