Sandia Mountain Natural History Center holds Open Trails Day

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s Open Trails Day at the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center this Saturday.

“You can explore the canyons and springs and forests,” said Fiana Shapiro, environmental education instructional coordinator with the SMNHC. “You can look for wildlife, do bird watching.”

Shapiro says Saturday is one of the few times the public will get to visit the site because it’s usually not open to the public.

“Normally this place is not open to the public, it’s for school kids to come up here,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro said the land is owned by Albuquerque Public Schools and is mainly used for fifth-grade students.

“We have fifth-grade classes primarily, they come up for a day and we do hike and hands-on activities, science-based activities, and teach about the ecosystem,” Shapiro said.

If you’re looking to get a good hike in, you’re in luck.

“We have a lot of loop trails and then most of them connect to each other, and so the loops are usually between one-and-a-half miles to two miles,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro said to come prepared.

“Especially in this heat right now, bring more water than you think you’ll need,” Shapiro said. “Multiple liters per person, bring sun protection, so sunblock, hats, a thin sun shirt to keep you cooler, definitely good hiking shoes that have traction – we have a lot of steep areas and rocky areas here.”

If you can’t make it out Saturday, the center is already planning future events for the public.

“This fall, we’ll hopefully have a Halloween event,” Shapiro said. “It’s nice to get the word out that we exist up here. A lot of people visit or even live in the neighborhood in Cedar Crest and don’t even know we’re here.”

The free event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, click here.