The Other Georgetown
Not the posh Washington, DC, neighborhood — the forested
New Mexico hiking trail.
by Linda Ferrara
Name: Georgetown Road — Forest Road 4085L
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Directions: Starting at the intersection of Hwy. 90 and Hwy. 180, take Hwy. 180 East to Hwy. 152 (7.3 miles). Turn left (north) onto Hwy. 152 and drive 6.3 miles to Georgetown Road. Turn left on Georgetown Road (a very well-maintained dirt road). Travel 1.5 miles to a cattle guard. Right after the cattle guard, on your left, you'll see FR 4085L. There is a sign for it.
Hike Description: In this hike you will experience a lot of up and down hill terrain. It is nicely treed with the typical juniper, scrub oak and pines. I like this area because there's a lot to enjoy: wildlife, views of the Kneeling Nun and Gila National Forest, ranch activity and mining history. It's also close enough to town that you can get there quickly. Keep track of which trail you're on because there are many intersecting trails and forest roads back there (all worth exploring).
Notes: If you're interested in area history, you may want to check out the following locations along Georgetown Road:
- When you turn in from Hwy. 152, go just 0.4 miles. On your left you will see an old cemetery. There are interesting markers to check out.
- If you continue on Georgetown Road (past FR 4085L), at the 3.9-mile mark you will see another cemetery. (For more on this historic cemetery, see "Grave Undertaking," November 2007 Tumbleweeds.)
- At the 4.5-mile mark you can park the car and explore the old building foundations and mining remnants.
- At the 4.9-mile mark, you'll come to the Georgetown Cabins. They have an informative sign on the right that describes the history of this area and other points of interest. (For more on the cabins, see "High-Tech Hideaway," September 2009 Tumbleweeds.)
- Continue to explore down the side trails and you'll be rewarded with various mining-activity remnants. Cool stuff!
Helpful Hint: The more you know about your hiking area (desert, shaded, mountainous, rocky, water nearby, etc.), the better prepared you can be. For example, if the trail has lots of loose rocks, you may want to bring hiking poles and wear hiking boots that support your ankles.
Linda Ferrara is a former Silver City real-estate agent and, of course, a hiker.