Visit the Enchanted Forest
As snow falls in the forest, the sound changes, becomes muted, interrupted only by the soft pat-pat-pat of snow hitting the earth, one’s own breath and the slap-slap-slap of skis or snowshoes. Some days you can see tracks from birds, ermine, squirrels, snowshoe hare, elk or deer. Some days you get to see these denizens of the forest. This is the appeal of heading to Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski & Snowshoe Area in winter. A full-service facility, Enchanted Forest offers over 30 kilometers of ski trails — groomed for classic and skate skiing — 18 kilometers of snowshoeing trails, and 5 kilometers of dog trails for use by both skiers and snowshoers. Trails meander through large aspen groves and old-growth forests with views of the Wheeler Peak Wilderness, Gold Hill, the Moreno Valley, Touch-Me-Not and Baldy Peaks. A cozy warming hut at the base offers a full-service rental shop with skis, snowshoes, winter boots for snowshoeing and child tow-sleds. Newcomers and experienced visitors can sign up for lessons or guided snowshoe tours. Adventurous visitors can rent an overnight yurt (think cozy and warm “glamping” or glamorous camping) out on the trails. A Midway Yurt offers skiers and snowshoers a place to stop for lunch or a well-earned break.
This year’s events include:
Luminaria Ski Tour, Dec. 25, 6:30 p.m. — Ski or snowshoe under the warm glow of candlelight. It is a New Mexican Christmas tradition to place luminarias or farolitos (paper bags with sand and a lighted candle inside) around houses and along streets. With this event, the candles provide plenty of light to see the trails and if it begins to snow, the effect is just incredible. Afterward, enjoy complimentary posole, cookies and hot drinks. (Snowshoe reservations are strongly recommended.)
New Year’s Eve Moonlight Ski, Snowshoe & Sledding, Dec. 31, 7 p.m.
Snowshoe Headlamp Tour, Jan. 13, 7 p.m.
Moonlight Ski & Snowshoe, Jan. 27, 7 p.m.
Valentine’s Day Headlamp Snowshoe Tour, Feb. 14, 7 p.m.
Just Desserts Eat and Ski, Feb. 24, noon — Ski or snowshoe out to tables laden with homemade desserts from Red River restaurants and enthusiastic bakers from all over.
Dog Days, March 16, 17 & 19 — Come ski the regular trails with your doggie pal!
Headlamp Snowshoe Tour, March 17, 7 p.m.
Closing Day, March 18 (subject to trail conditions)
Note: All events are weather dependent. Call 575-754-6112 to verify before coming!
Located 3.5 miles east of Red River just below the summit of Bobcat Pass on Hwy 38. Info: 505-754-2374 or www.enchantedforestxc.com.
-Article & photos courtesy Ellen Miller-Goins