3 of the Best Paved Trails in Santa Fe
These kid-friendly paved trails in Santa Fe are removed from busy roads, well maintained, and have relatively small hills or changes in elevation. This makes them ideal for young bikers or hikers, strollers, and wheelchairs. Each of these paved trails boasts stunning views of Santa Fe landscape and architecture. These are 3 of the best paved trails in Santa Fe.
El Camino Real Hiking Trail
The El Camino Real Hiking Trail is a true gem of the kid-friendly paved trails of Santa Fe! The trail winds along the Santa Fe River and across the entire state of New Mexico. For a kid-friendly segment of the trail, I recommend beginning your journey at Frenchy’s Field and Barn Park.
From the road this park looks…dusty. But as you walk through the park it truly comes to life. Frenchy’s Field and Barn Park hosts a real barn, a beautiful Santa Fe casita, a war memorial, and a community garden. The playground is not only for kids, it also has a workout area for teenagers and adults.
The free parking lot has porta-potties for your restroom needs.
The paved trail loops around Frenchy’s Field, descends down a gentle slope, and takes you over a steel bridge. From here, you can decide whether to turn left or right. If you turn right, you can walk for nearly a mile and a half and reach another beautifully kept park before the trail continues on. This portion of the trail showcases beautiful white aspen trees, which will change color in the fall.
Several residents have commissioned or painted their own murals on privacy walls along the trail in true Santa Fe style.
The trail has multiple areas where you can stop and enjoy benches. There is some shade, but expect lots of sunny spots. A very unique aspect of this trail is the informational markers that help you and your kids learn about the area. There are also multiple Little Libraries where you and your children can get free books. A trail truly meant to be kid-friendly.
Arroyo Hondo Fire Station Trail
- Free Parking
- No restrooms at Trail Head
- No picnic tables or benches along the trail
- Near Santa Fe Brewing Company
The Arroyo Hondo trail branching off from the Fire Station Trailhead offers a flat, immaculately cared for paved trail. It winds its way through the desert into some of Santa Fe’s most beautiful housing areas. The main branch extends for 1.2 miles with a smaller branch of just over a quarter of a mile.
The trailhead is located just off Rancho Viejo Blvd and runs parallel to Dinosaur Trail by the Rancho Viejo Fire Department. Take a left just before the fire department and you will find a small gravel parking lot. The lot has handicap-accessible spaces that lead to the paved trail by sidewalk.
This trail is ideal for strollers or young bikers with its wide structure, lack of elevation, and open spaces. The trail offers a unique and extraordinary view of the mountains beyond Santa Fe, the vastness of the desert, and a glimpse of the blue skies of New Mexico.
There are no restrooms at the trailhead. Pack plenty of water for this trail. Despite it being a short hike, there is no shade and it can get hot in the summer.
SWAN Park Trail
- Free Parking
- Restrooms at Trail Head
- Playground for kids ages 2-5
- Playground for kids ages 5-12
- No benches along the trail
The SWAN Park Trail or Jaguar Rd. Trail is a scenic paved walking/biking trail that winds it’s way behind the residential area for 3.2 miles.
This trail has been chosen as one of the top kid-friendly paved trails for Santa Fe. The trail is well maintained, has subtle hills and flat areas of the trail which are great for beginning walkers, runners, hikers, bikers, or strollers.
The main trail’s paving makes this an ideal trail for strollers or young bikers. Multiple un-paved branches reach into the neighborhoods along Jaguar Road.
SWAN Park hosts the trail’s head. There is a large iron gate next to the basketball courts on the far end of the parking lot that marks the beginning of the trail. Restrooms are available in the parking lot of SWAN Park.
The beginning of the trail is a flat area that allows you to choose between the paved or unpaved trails. The unpaved trails throughout the hills are popular among 4-wheelers.