Opening remarks by Matthew Johnston of St. John College included an invitation to try out a new trail on the ridge in the background.

Celebrations of National Trails Day started on Friday, June 3, at St. John’s Trailhead, where we joined County Volunteer Coordinator Carol Branch to unveil a new trailhead map sign created through collaboration of the city and county.

Matthew Johnston of St. John’s College welcomed the group of roughly 50 attendants, reflected on the lasting public value of trails and open space, and invited participants to try out a new trail that St. Johns College volunteers have been building at the base of Sun Mountain.

County Volunteer Coordinator Carol Branch introduces the members of Santa Fe Clean and Beautiful, whose support was pivotal in creating the new trail head signage installations.

Following more words of appreciation and encouragement by County and City elected officials, a small group hiked up to the Dorothy Stewart trail head to appreciate another new sign installation there.

Commissioners Roybal and Holian join Councilor Maestas in admiring the newly unveiled signage

SFCT Executive Director Sarah Noss admires the new installation at Dorothy Stewart Trailhead













Excursion to Dorothy Stewart Trailhead, via the Camino de Cruz Blanca Trail.








Sarah Noss addresses the National Trails day crowd at Sierra del Norte Trailhead

On June 4, the National Trails Day celebration continued at Sierra del Norte Trailhead, with a Dale Ball remembrance and community hike organized by SFCT.  After SFCT’s new executive director Sarah Noss presented two of Dale Ball’s children, Alan Ball and Portia Blackman, with plaques of appreciation, we took a hike around the northeast loop of Dale Ball Trails with an excursion to the nearby interpretive sign and view point on the La Piedra Trail.

Presentation of Dale Ball Trails plaques to Portia Blackman and Alan Ball

Community hike starts up the hill








David and Portia Blackman pose for the paparrazi at the La Piedra interpretive sign



In addition to admiring the first of the three trailhead map installations, we showed off a new display, created by Attila Bality of the National Park Service, promoting the Grand Unified Trail System (GUTS) initiative which serves to continue the spirit of Dale Ball by improving access and enjoyment of open space for all Santa Feans and their guests.

A student from Miss Searcey’s 4th Grade class at Nina Otero Community School took the opportunity to earn a sticker for her “Passport to Trails”

David Blackman sports a vintage Rail Trail shirt for the occasion


SFCT staff and Board Member Don DeVito pose with Councilor Renee Villarreal in front of the new sign installation

The new GUTS display created by Attila Bality of NPS made its debut at the Sierra del Norte trailhead on National Trails Day