New Mexico, where everybody is somebody, has over thirty State Parks throughout. The assorted landscapes, natural resources and rich culture of the people allow New Mexico to live up to its nickname “Land of Enchantment”.
All of New Mexico’s state parks may be enjoyed daily for just $5.00 per vehicle or $15.00 for a bus load. Or if you are walking or bicycling into the park, admission is free. Another option is to purchase a Day-use Annual Permit for only $40.00 that is good for 12 months. Veterans with 100% disability may use the parks at no charge. To view a listing of other fees you can visit the New Mexico State Parks division Fees and Permits webpage. There is also an opportunity to win free camping or day use for a year on the web site.
Since there are so many great state parks in New Mexico, this article highlights some of New Mexico’s best state parks that you should consider for your family vacation. For a full list of state parks in New Mexico visit the web at: New Mexico State Parks. You can’t go wrong when visiting any of these superb parks in the great southwest United States of America.
Blue Water Lake State Park
Located in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico you will find Blue Water Lake State Park. If fishing and/or bird-watching is your thing, this is the park for you! You will find catfish, native and cutthroat trout in the well-stocked lake and creek. Ice fishing during the winter months is a very popular sport on the lake as well. This park also boast over sixty species of birds that can be spied by the avid bird-watcher. Great information on the Blue Water Lake State Park web page.
Cerrillos Hills State Park
With over 1,000 acres of rolling hills and juniper scapes, Cerrillos Hills State Park is a year-round paradise for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Sandia, Ortiz, Jemez, and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges. Located along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, you will not be disappointed when you visit this state treasure. More information, including links to an events calendar and detailed directions on how to find the park are available on the web at Cerrillos Hills State Park.
Elephant Butte Lake State Park
The most popular and largest lake in New Mexico resides within the Elephant Butte Lake State Park. The lake, really a reservoir, was formed by the dam that was built in 1916. While providing irrigation and flood control, the lake has become one of New Mexico’s most popular locations for camping, boating, water skiing, swimming, fishing, hiking and bird watching. Truly, there is something for everybody here! This huge lake spans a surface of over 36,500 acres, is forty miles long with over 200 miles of shoreline. The park is located five miles north of Truth or Consequences via I-25 exit 83 . There are so many things to do; so many places to see in this wonderland. View more information on the web at Elephant Butte.
Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park
Is a zoo for you? Or maybe you just want to see some spectacular plants from around the world. And in this park, there is no shortage of birds either. The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park is an indoor and outdoor “living” park. You can enjoy a guided tour while you visit. No matter what your plans for this park, visitors are encouraged to visit in the early morning hours during the summer months to get a great glimpse of all the animals; later in the day the animals will be taking a siesta. This park is located on the northwest edge of Carlsbad, New Mexico off of US 285. Take a look at the web page for hours of operation and additional contact information at Desert Zoo & Gardens.
Manzano Mountains State Park
Amongst the Manzanos (Spanish word for “apple tree”) and in the foothills, is the beautiful Manzano Mountains State Park. This is a great park for the photographer, with many trees, wildflowers and birds. A field checklist for the bird-watcher is available at the visitor center. This is a year-round park with snow shoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities are offered during the winter months. This lovely park is located just 16 miles west of Mountainair, New Mexico and you can get to it from highways 55 and 131. A good amount of information is available on the web at Manzano.
As you can see from this little peek at some of New Mexico State Parks, you will be enchanted when you visit this lovely state and it has something for everybody.