Belen is a city situated near the center of New Mexico, and is a significant transportation hub for the region. Because of this, Belen has the nickname “The Hub City”. In this city you and your pup can take a stroll along the Rio Grande and through the historic downtown with mom and pop shops. Just 35 miles south of Albuquerque, here you can enjoy the small town charm while still being close to big city amenities. Belen has three veterinary clinics, so you don’t need to go far if your pupper should get injured.
Belen is home to several urban parks and to the Valencia County Fairgrounds. One of the favorite multi-purpose parks is Eagle Park, located near the Belen High School. This park has several athletic fields that your pooch can sniff and play on, as long as priority is given to sports and events. Amenities include a community center with restrooms, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Dogs are welcome to join in on the fun, as long as they stay leashed and get picked up after.
If you’re just in town for a visit and are looking for somewhere pet-friendly to stay, head over to Oak Tree Inn Belen. They welcome two pets up to 100 lbs for an additional fee.
With all of these pet friendly things to do, Belen is a great place for dogs and their humans to live or play.
In the City Center of Belen, you can find the historic Ann Becker Park. This park is named after the wife of Belen’s most influential businessman, John Becker. Residents and their dogs love to get together in this park, so get ready to make some furry friends! Here you can find playgrounds and a charming gazebo that is great for picnics and gatherings. You may also be able to catch the farmers market or flea market that’s hosted in this park. Leashed dogs are welcome to join their humans, just don’t for the waste bags and dog treats for your good pup!
For a taste of the great outdoors, you don't need to go far from the city! Head over to the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area just across the Rio Grande along the NM-47. This 100 acre parcel was once a dairy farm, but has been restored into a refuge for all kinds of plants and animals of the bosque habitat. This diverse wildlife conservation area attracts hikers, birdwatchers, tourists and students. The Whitfield Trails are a network of pathways that wind through the wetland habitats and lead to a lake. Leashed dogs are welcome, as long as they don’t disturb the wildlife and are picked up after.
Just a 15 minute drive north along the CanAm Highway brings you to the neighboring town of Los Lunas. The Huning Ranch - Trailside neighborhood is home to it’s very own dog park! The dog park can be found within Huning Ranch Park. The fenced area provides a safe place for dogs to get some much needed off-leash exercise and socialization. Amenities include water, waste bags and agility equipment. Dogs need to stay leashed when they’re not within the fenced area. To keep the adventure going, you can find a 2.6 mile loop trail from Huning Ranch Park that goes up to Los Lunas Hill. From the top of the hill you can enjoy a birds eye view of Los Lunas and the surrounding landscape.
If you and your pup are itching to get into the great outdoors, head over to the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in the nearby town of La Joya. This town is just a 20 minute drive south from Belen, and the drive is worth it! This preserve encompasses about 230,000 acres and has a diverse landscape featuring a plateau, woodlands, prairies, desert, and the Rio Grande flowing through the middle. You can explore the wilderness by means of the trail systems winding throughout the park. A great trail option is the Mesa View Trail. This 3.8 mile trail climbs the mesa west of the visitors center, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, and drops back down into a valley. Dogs are welcome as long as they stay leashed, picked up after, and hydrated!
Next time you head into Albuquerque, why not bring your dog along with you? This big city is just a 30 minute drive south of Belen along the CanAm Highway. Here you can find plenty of ways to enjoy the area with your pooch! In the South Valley neighborhood, you can access the Paseo Del Bosque Trail. This trail is part of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Program, which converts retired railways into beautiful trails all can enjoy. The trail follows the Rio Grande River all the way through Albuquerque. This is a multi-use trail, so be sure to keep your pup leashed and to stoop and scoop. When your stomach is growling, head over to Blake’s Lotaburger, also in South Valley. Here you can dig into a juicy burger next to your canine companion at one of the outdoor dog friendly tables.