Local Experiences: What to do and where to go

Whether you live in New Mexico or you’re just visiting, there’s plenty to explore in the East Mountains. An easy day trip from Albuquerque and Santa Fe, it’s a natural choice for family-friendly fun where outdoor activities, fast and flashy hobbies, and the arts all share center stage.

EDGEWOOD

(Elevation 6700’

Pop. 5,000

Located at the hub of the East Mountain region, where the mountains meet the plains, Edgewood is the largest community in the area. It stands at the east-west midway point of the state, and is home to a wide variety of outdoor pursuits, retail options, and is popular for its equestrian lifestyle.

FATHER’S DAY CAR SHOW

June 16

66 N.M. 344, Edgewood

Love horsepower from the modern era? One of New Mexico’s premiere car shows takes place each Father’s Day in Edgewood. Organized annually by Tony Jaramillo, Jr., the show features more than 300 entries, car clubs, food, games, and lots of fun.

For 2019, all proceeds benefit Care Net Pregnancy Center. Admission is free for spectators.

END OF TRAIL

Cowboy Action Shooting World Championships

June 21 & 22

47 Barton Road, Edgewood

Founders Ranch, a beautiful 480-acre property, is home to End of Trail—the World Championships of Cowboy Action Shooting.

Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) members from around the world converge each June to compete in challenging scenarios and ultimately crown the world champions.

Members and enthusiasts relive an era in Western heritage where gun slingers and law-keepers alike became famous for their shooting skills and larger-than-life adventures.

SASS competitors dress in period costume and use replica firearms of the 1860-1899 era for Cowboy Action Shooting and early 1900s era for Wild Bunch Action Shooting.

End of Trail events are open to the public June 21 and 22 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For just $5 admission, you can experience an exciting, world class event.

The setting features an entire Western town, vendors, music, food and lots of activities. More information can be found at sassnet.com.

WILDLIFE WEST NATURE PARK

87 W. Frontage Rd., Edgewood

Voted Best of the City by ABQ the Magazine for 2018, for 27 years, Wildlife West Nature Park has given visitors a personal experience unlike typical zoos.

The park serves rescued, native New Mexico wildlife who have been injured or domesticated and can no longer live in the wild. It also serves as a life-sized classroom for teens and young adults to learn carpentry, masonry, and habitat management building much of the park.

The Park hosts numerous festivals and events all summer, including Wildlife Festival (June 16), Cowboy Days Music & Brews Nite (June 21), Dirty Dash Mud Run (Aug. 17) and the Harvest & Fiber Festival (Aug. 31). More information is at wildlifewest.org.

Cowboy Days Music & Brews Nite – June 21 An eclectic celebration on the Summer Solstice brings together several bands, award-winning brews from Sierra Blanca Brewing, and food trucks. Admission is free.

Chuckwagon Supper Shows – starting June 15, and numerous Saturdays all summer long, guests enjoy hayrides, falcon shows, live stage entertainment, and a Western-style barbecue supper. Advance reservations required by 2 p.m. on the day of the show ($12 ages 5-11 to $27 Adults). Proceeds help support the park.

ROUTE 66 MIDWAY POINT

Edgewood is the midway point on New Mexico’s stretch of Historic Route 66.

Explore several sites: Old Barton (Route 66 & N.M. 217) where you’ll find remnants of an old gas station, beauty salon, and former home of Bob Audette (famed Route 66 advocate).

An Aristocrat model Valentine Diner (Red Top Diner) is now located at Wildlife West Nature Park. And, of course, the Midway Trading Post (see the restored horno, an outdoor oven), reflects an era when the Mother Road was as much transportation as entertainment.

TRINKETS & TREASURES TRAIL

7 stops and 30+ shops to explore

Discover the fun of searching for treasure in Edgewood’s many quirky and distinct shops. The trail encompasses more than 30 shops, ranging from tiny, funky country vibes to large-scale thrift stores and gift shops where you’ll find antiques, hand-crafted finds, and local one-of-a-kind artistry, making Edgewood a regular destination for professional antique hunters and region-wide treasure trackers. For details, visit edgewoodchambernm.com and follow the link to Trinkets & Treasures Trail.

HIKE-BIKE-RIDE the GREEN SIDE

Edgewood invites you to hike, bike and ride the green side of the Sandias. Numerous public open spaces and a growing trail system beckon those who appreciate the outdoors.

All weather, hard surface trails line the towns two main thoroughfares. Natural surface trails for hiking, biking and riding (horse or mountain bike) traverse the hills of Sections 34 and 16, providing comfortable to moderate terrain for encounters with nature and spectacular views. For travelers, an Equestrian Arena is also available to exercise and water your horses.

MORIARTY

Elevation 6200’

Pop. 2,000

AUTHENTIC ROUTE 66

Moriarty has a large number of original Route 66 buildings, motels, and neon signs in varying degree of condition, but that’s exactly why they tell the story of America’s Highway.

See an original, restored neon rotosphere at El Comedor, and an original Whiting Bros. gas station.

See motor courts and motels, with some in operation, like the Sunset Motel, still run by the original family. Take time to cruise 66 and let your imagination see the history of a bygone era and how the road still plays a vital part in communities across the country.

For fans, explore the longest stretch of uninterrupted Route 66 in the country, from west of Albuquerque to Moriarty.

SOUTHWEST SOARING MUSEUM

918 Historic Route 66, Moriarty

Moriarty is world-renowned for its soaring conditions, and a collection of more than 40 gliders dating from the 1920s to 1990s fills the Southwest Soaring Museum, each one telling a piece of the history and the accomplishments of soaring and glide planes, and the people who made them possible.

A 24-foot mural, by New Mexico artist Scott Kuykendall, portrays the history of man’s desire to fly. Highlights of the history of soaring are depicted in the museum’s photograph collection.

Summer hours are Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it’s recommended to call ahead to 505-832-9222. More information can be found at swsoaringmuseum.org.

LEWIS ANTIQUE AUTO & TOY MUSEUM

905 Historic Route 66, Moriarty

An unusually large and unique collection of vintage cars and trucks, from Model Ts through the 1960s, all personally collected the museum’s curator and car enthusiast, Archie Lewis. Visitors say his stories of movie stars and the cars on display make it for a great experience.

The cars located outside and decaying tell their own stories, and often bring back memories of parts hunting in the past. Located right on the Mother Road, it’s a trip back in time to when the highway was an experience. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from noon to 3 p.m. The museum can be reached at 505-832-6131.

SCHWEBACH FARM

807 Martinez Road, Moriarty

For six generations the Schwebach Family has been in agriculture. Their Moriarty farm is widely-known for its famously delicious sweet corn—considered New Mexico’s best—and recently they were voted 2018 Local Hero, Best Farm for the Greater New Mexico area.

Visit schwebachfarm.com to learn more.

SANDIA MX MOTOCROSS

38 Martin Road, Moriarty

Cowboy spirit on two wheels and high speeds, offers a different kind of thrill. A popular regional motocross track, Sandia MX hosts local and AMA Southwest Qualifier races.

The track was re-designed in 2017 by two New Mexico pro-level riders providing new interest and challenges for riders of varying skill levels. The track is open for practice sessions and races, dates vary. Visit sandiamx.com for details.

SIERRA BLANCA BREWING CO.

1016 Industrial Road, Moriarty

If award-winning brews make you smile, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear at Sierra Blanca. Known for its assortment of craft brews, including their famous Cherry Wheat and Alien Amber Ale, you won’t want to miss the beer garden (a true oasis) or their Friday and Saturday Band Nights.

Find Sierra Blanca on Facebook for more information.

TURQUOISE TRAIL

Tijeras

Elevation 6300’

Pop. 550

SINGING ROAD

Eastbound Old Route 66 between Carnuel and Tijeras is a singing road. What’s a singing road, you ask?

Created by Nat-Geo cable channel, a series of rumble strips strategically cut into the edge of Old Route 66 play the tune “American the Beautiful” when you drive on them at 45 mph.

It’s a fun, albeit quick experience, that is unique to this region. Check out thesingingroad.com to learn more.

TIJERAS PUEBLO ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE

11776 N.M. 337, Tijeras

Located at the Sandia Ranger Station of the Cibola National Forest, the Tijeras Pueblo site has a museum and learning stations that provide share information about the ancestral Pueblo people who long ago lived at the Tijeras Pueblo site.

Visitors will discover information about how the ancients lived, their food, clothing, shelter, and tools. Video and a life-sized replica of an excavated room help visitors to better understand the lives of those Pueblo inhabitants. The museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information is at friendsoftijeraspueblo.org.

TINKERTOWN

121 Crest Road, Sandia Park

The creation of Ross Ward, and 40+ years in the making, Tinkertown has been featured on television and in print media for its creativity. The 22-room museum features walls made of 50,000 glass bottles, carvings, miniatures, and an eccentric collection of Americana folk art.

It’s a unique museum, packed with something in every inch, so plan to take time to discover all that is here.

Tinkertown is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; more information is at tinkertown.com.

HOLLYWICK FARMS

503 Frost Road, Sandia Park

Farm tours include meeting the alpacas and a visit to the farm store, where fiber art and products are available.

This is a working farm, so call ahead and check weather before going just to be sure you can be accommodated. Classes are also available; call for schedule. Summer hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday only. Visit hollywickfarms.com for more information.

PAA-KO RIDGE GOLF COURSE

1 Club House Dr., Sandia Park

This challenging and award-winning 27-hole course is surrounded by beautiful mountain views. Just 20 minutes from Albuquerque and 45 minutes from Santa Fe, this course is open to the public. Visit paakoridge.com for more.

TURQUOISE TRAIL

Looking for a beautiful drive? The Turquoise Trail is the ‘back way’ to Santa Fe, winding along the eastern side of the Sandia Mountains along N.M. 337 through Tijeras, Cedar Crest, Sandia Park and beyond.

It’s a gently twisting route that meanders upward in elevation to through a few tiny towns. Shops and studios dot the trail, including Madrid and Cerrillos, which have both been featured in movies. Watch for wildlife, especially from dusk to dawn.

For information, visit turquoisetrail.org, which provides highlights of attractions along the route.

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