Silver City, NM — More than a dozen people joined the Gila National Forest and Grant County on interpretive hikes of the cultural and historic features found within the Fort Bayard Trail System, northeast of Silver City, Saturday, April 5. This event was part of Grant County Trails Month – promoting outdoors hikes in Grant County throughout April.
Two guided hikes offered participants the opportunity to learn about the ancient Mimbreño people who once called the expansive planes of Fort Bayard their home. Before setting out, hikers were treated to refreshments served by Aldo Leopold High School students and door prizes presented by Adrienne Booth, Gila Conservation Education Center. The prizes were donated by various Grant County businesses.
The Dragonfly Petroglyph hike was led by Forest Service Archeologists, Bob Schiowitz and Elizabeth Toney. They explained various theories regarding the meaning behind figures etched into rock along Twin Sisters Creek. The Mimbreño Pueblo hike was led by Marilyn Markel of the Grant County Archeological Society. It featured a visit to an ancient Pueblo ruin where participants were encouraged to imagine what life was like for these early people on the Fort Bayard planes more than a thousand years ago. Hikers also observed massive check-dams built in the 1930s by young rock masons of the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was responsible for the installation of thousands of these drainage features across southwest New Mexico.
The public is encouraged to celebrate healthy outdoor recreation during Grant County Trails Month. For more details call 505-819-9651 or visit the Gila National Forest website http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila/