Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

Things To Do

Nature Trails

The bosque, or riverside forest, features two miles of nature trails that wind through tall cottonwoods and past willow thickets and open sand flats alongside the Rio Grande.


During the fall and winter months, sandhill cranes, Canada geese, and several types of ducks take advantage of this peaceful pitstop. Roadrunners can also be seen in the park.

Wildlife Watching

In summer lizards skitter across the trails and hummingbirds investigate flowering plants. Occasionally, visitors also can spot secretive residents like coyotes, raccoons, porcupines or beavers.

Visitor Center

A highlight of the park’s visitor center is its glass-walled library, which allows observation of pond residents such as ducks, geese, turtles, frogs, snakes and muskrats in their natural habitat. A speaker system transmits the real sounds of pond life into the room.

Park Programs

The park offers regular nature walks, bird walks and twilight hikes as well as teacher workshops, seasonal classes and special events for all ages. Bosque trails, gardens, wildlife viewing blinds and hands-on exhibits are available to visitors who would like to explore on their own.

Group Programs

Schools and other groups can sign up to participate in guided programs (nature walks, pond investigations, and indoor programs on the habitat and creatures of the bosque) that address New Mexico science and social studies standards.

Dogs and Bicycles

The park trails are for hikers. Visitors riding bicycles or walking leashed dogs should use the Candelaria access path to reach the paved Paseo del Bosque Trail.


Rio Grande Nature Center State Park a group picnic shelter.