Salt Missions Trail
The Salt Missions Trail Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan Update (PDF) as been completed and accepted by the governing bodies of each of the villages, cities, and towns along the Byway as well as the Torrance County Commission. An Executive Summary (PDF) is also available.
The Salt Missions Trail Scenic Byway Committee members represent the various communities and major tourist venues along the Byway, as well as the Chambers of Commerce. The Committee meets as needed to coordinate activities along the Byway and develop Byway projects and materials. Currently, the Committee is working toward acquiring funding to purchase Salt Missions Trail signage to be placed along the 150-mile byway.
The Salt Missions Trail Scenic Byway (PDF) runs along a historic, winding wagon road from the Village of Tijeras in the mountain pass east of Albuquerque, winds along the eastern slopes of the Manzano and Manzanita Mountains through the Spanish land grant towns and the Cibola National Forest, follows the prehistoric trade route of the Salinas Pueblo Missions, and past the abandoned railroad right-of-way along the edge of the Estancia Basin's salt lakes and prairie. It closes the loop by following a 24 mile segment of the major transcontinental highway, Historic Route 66, back to the Village of Tijeras. A 25-1/2 mile extension southward connects the Gran Quivera mission site.
The Salt Missions Trail was established as a New Mexico Scenic Byway in 1998 as a strategy for generating a sense of regional community, increasing opportunities for economic development, and spurring preservation of appropriate historic and cultural resources in the area. A Corridor Management Plan for the Byway was developed at that time, but the organization responsible for its development and implementation no longer exists.
In late 2010, MRCOG received a grant from the Federal Scenic Byway Program to update the 1998 Corridor Management Plan for the Salt Missions Trail Scenic Byway and to work with local communities to reestablish a Salt Missions Trail Scenic Byway Organization. To accomplish these goals, the following activities occurred:
- Fourteen presentations to local communities and community organizations
- Invitations to seventeen organizations along the Byway to participate on the Byway Organization Planning Committee
- Numerous one-to-one interviews, small group meetings and additional presentations
- Six planning committee meetings held between March and September 2010
Goals & Vision
The Planning Committee identified the following vision and goals for the Byway:
- Share Community History and Cultures in a way that informs residents and visitors, honors the past and serves as an economic development driver
- Retain, Promote and Communicate Local Cultures
- Historic Resource Protection
- Interpretative Way-Finding and Informational System
- Effective Marketing and Publicizing of Trail and Events
- Sustainable Byway Funding
- Vision: The enhancement and protection of the cultural and natural resources of the Byway
The Committee also provided historical information about the Byway and its communities, brainstormed a list of potential projects, outlined project proposals for two initial projects, and recommended an organizational structure.