Rio Grande Nature Center State Park


  • In the bosque at Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
  • The entrance to Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
Crane statue at Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

The Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is located in Albuquerque along the banks of the Rio Grande. This is a day-use only park in the bosque (wooded area) beside the river. This riverside forest offers trails through willow thickets and tall cottonwoods along the open sand flats of the river. The state park preserves what little original bosque is left since Albuquerque grew into a large city.

Rio Gande Nature Center offers a visitor center with a glass-walled library that has excellent views of the natural habitat it is surrounded by. You can sit and watch the ducks, turtles, frogs, geese, sandhill cranes, muskrats and snakes go about their daily business undisturbed. There is even a setup of microphones and speakers that transmit the outside sounds of life into the library.

Rio Grande Nature Center offers regular birding and nature walks and twilight hikes along the river. The gardens, bosque trails and blinds for viewing wildlife are also available to everyone during normal park hours. It's also possible for schools and other groups to call ahead and schedule guided programs with the park rangers.

The entry gate at Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is open from 8 am to 5 pm every day. The visitor center is open from 10 am to 5 pm every day. The Rio Grande Nature Center is located at the end of Candelaria Road, about one-half mile west of Rio Grande Boulevard. Park trails are for hikers only. Folks with leashed dogs can use the Candelaria access path to get to the paved Paseo del Bosque Trail.

Photos courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License