Distance from Routes via bicycle: 11 Minutes
Barelas is a traditional New Mexico neighborhood with architectural and cultural roots dating back more than 400 years, and is easily accessed from Routes via the Rio Grande River (or “Paseo del Bosque”) Bike Trail. In the past decade, efforts by local residents have re-charged this community with vitality, pride, and a strong creative tendency.
Visitors can enjoy beautiful art / one-of-a-kind performances at the National Hispanic Cultural Center; experience the marriage of traditional agriculture with urban farming and sustainability (it is not uncommon to encounter a chicken); and peruse an ever-growing number of art galleries and stores. Barelas is famous for traditional New Mexican cuisine, and offers a range of excellent choices for breakfast or lunch, from restaurants to cafés to street vendors.
The Paseo del Bosque Bike Trail winds further south along the Rio Grande, and extends into a variety of paved and dirt trails. Views of the city are cut through with old-growth cottonwood trees, and the peaceful whisper of the river grows ever-closer.
Albuquerque’s South Valley offers an excellent spot for a rustic picnic, a mountain bike excursion, or an escape from the urban, and (along with Socorro, 60 miles to the south) is famous for bird-watching in the fall, winter, and spring months.