Anne's Santa Fe Trail Running Shangri La

 A neighborhood tipi.

A neighborhood tipi.

I've just returned home from a peaceful Christmas vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico with Christi and our cousins. This trip's focus wasn't on running, but as a public service to the trail-running community, I feel the need to share a wonderful resource with you.

We booked a property via AirBnB just to have a beautiful place to hang out for a few days and relax. The forecast was for heavy snow, and while we did visit a few restaurants in Santa Fe (I mean, who could come within 100 miles of Santa Fe without visiting Raaga's?!), our focus was truly on relaxation rather than seeing all the sights.

I didn't choose our property, which we now affectionately refer to simply as "Anne's House," with running in mind at all... and so imagine my surprise when, heading out for a morning ramble on the trails, I discover that her home is directly on one (short) trail that leads to a much bigger, lengthier trail system: the Santa Fe Rail Trail!

It was a Christmas miracle.

I encourage any trail runners looking for a comfortable place to stay in Santa Fe (or more specifically, just outside Santa Fe, in Eldorado) to check out Anne's rentals. We rented the whole house, but runners needing just one room -- and who want to bring a well-behaved dog along -- might consider renting Anne's adjoining apartment instead.

In addition to being a beautiful, warm, well-equipped home, its proprietor, Anne, is a lovely human being. Before we arrived, she e-mailed us resources to help us learn more about what was going on in Santa Fe during our stay. She left maps, brochures and magazines about the region for us to use. A world traveler, her home is filled with unique pieces of art from around the globe.

In short, her home was already a great place to stay before we discovered the trails...but with the trails it's simply perfect.

I snapped some photos as I ran. Merry Christmas, and see you on the trail!

 The main Santa Fe Rail Trail (which follows these railroad tracks for 15 miles) just after leaving the smaller neighborhood branch trail.

The main Santa Fe Rail Trail (which follows these railroad tracks for 15 miles) just after leaving the smaller neighborhood branch trail.

 Gorgeous snowy mountain views.

Gorgeous snowy mountain views.

 The trail dips under the railroad tracks.

The trail dips under the railroad tracks.

 Not far from Santa Fe, but still feels remote & wild.

Not far from Santa Fe, but still feels remote & wild.

 Beautiful railroad bridge.

Beautiful railroad bridge.

 The snow started again during my run. A white Christmas indeed!

The snow started again during my run. A white Christmas indeed!

 There are fairly accurate mile markers the whole way.

There are fairly accurate mile markers the whole way.

 I'm guessing the numbered birdhouses along the way are part of a wildlife conservation project, but I haven't had a chance to research it yet.

I'm guessing the numbered birdhouses along the way are part of a wildlife conservation project, but I haven't had a chance to research it yet.