When it comes to exercise and enjoying our natural beauty, nothing quite beats Ruidoso hiking. You will find over 200 miles of established trails near our Ruidoso cabins. There are plenty of choices, offering a variety of difficulty.
Why sit on a stationary bicycle in a workout room when you can take pleasure in every calorie that you burn, walking in the woods? Lincoln National Forest offers more than 50,000 acres of terrain that are officially designated as wilderness area, in which there is no mechanized equipment allowed, including mountain bikes. As in any designated wilderness area, you can only explore this area by foot or on horseback, thus preserving the peace and integrity of the environment.
While longer, challenging hikes are available, sometimes you just feel like getting out to stretch your legs without committing yourself to a long outing. Regardless of your preference or experience level, there are trails for every kind of hiker.
Grindstone Lake, just two miles from downtown Ruidoso, offers a well-established path around the lake, which is also a popular fishing spot. Keep an eye on the sky, as it is not uncommon to spy osprey, golden eagles, or even bald eagles doing some fishing of their own.
Just a mile up Cedar Creek Drive, the base of the “Spaghetti Bowl” offers a large series of picnic areas with shelters, tables, and charcoal grills. A variety of trails zigzag up and down the foothills to and from this location, and most of the trails are relatively easy.
For a more urban (and paved) approach, the walking path around the Links Golf Course is one of the most popular walking trails in town. There is also a 3-mile, out-&-back walking and fitness trail that starts at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, with half-mile markers so you can track your progress and a parking lot at the mid-way point.
Be a smart hiker! Pack a knapsack with your basic provisions and discover dozens of routes for half-day and even overnight hikes. Always bring an extra layer of clothing, as temperatures vary with elevation and weather changes. Sunny skies can quickly turn into a summer hail storm, cooling things down as much as 30 degrees in just a few minutes.
Check in at the Smokey Bear Ranger Station on Mechem Drive for maps and information about current fire restrictions, which are can be serious in the dry summer months. The most popular trails are accessed from Hwy. 532 to Ski Apache, or off Hwy. 37 from the road to Bonito Lake. You can stroll along creeks under the tall pines in the canyons, or find your way to over 21 miles of the famous Crest Trail on the spine of the Sacramento Mountains, with spectacular panoramic views.