August 17, 2023 – The U.S. Forest Service officially opened the 5-mile extension to the Challenge Trail, connecting Bill Spring Trail and the former terminus at the Ski Area. Cibola National Forest Trails Manager Russell Berman performed the ribbon cutting after thanking the many volunteers for their hard work over the past two years.
KOB TV was there to document the completion of the trail having done an interim story in November 2022. The Albuquerque Journal ran a front-page article about the project on August 29.
The FOSM Trail Construction crew led by Jenny Blackmore began work on this project almost exactly two years ago. The difficulty of the work and the many FOSM volunteers who made today possible can be understood best by reviewing some or all of the excellent project reports Jenny produced over these two years.
Crew member Luis Cuadros has compiled a comprehensive set of statistics regarding the impressive project.
Hikers and mountain bikers praise the quality of the new trail. It is now possible to hike or bike between Doc Long Picnic Area and Ellis Trail Head, a distance of over 10 miles with an elevation difference of almost 3,000 feet.