Hero without a Cape
How would you recognize a hero if you met one? Most heroes don't wear capes (that I've seen) so spotting one could be tricky. I recently met a local hero, who is responsible for creating the very popular Dale Ball Trail System in Santa Fe, NM. I really wasn't sure I would recognize him. Fortunately, this hero was wearing a name tag.
The Dale Ball trail system includes over 22 miles of singletrack trail in the foothills above Santa Fe. The trails cross Santa Fe city, county, federal, conservation and private lands connecting to the Nature Conservancy, Dorothy Stewart and Atalaya trails forming a 30+ mile system. The Dale Ball trails are divided into the North, Central and South sections which are easily connected by road. Each trail head and intersection is numbered and marked with point to point distances on GPS-generated maps posted at each intersection. The Dale Ball trails also have two parking lots located at the intersection of Upper Canyon and Cerro Gordo Roads and off Hyde Park Road.
In short, the Dale Ball trails are easy to access, easy to navigate and use, open to bikers, hikers and leashed dogs, well-designed and well loved. Given the challenges in bringing together Santa Fe city, Santa Fe county and many private landowners it is no small feat that these trails exist. Thanks to everyone who contributed to building the Dale Ball trails including: Sylvia Ball, Mike Wirtz, Bill Field, Ruth Johnson, the city and county of Santa Fe, the McCune Foundation, and other anonymous donors. The Dale Ball Trails are now maintained by volunteers with the Trails Alliance of Santa Fe.
Also, thanks to Dale Ball.
Dale Ball Trails Guide(.pdf)