Outdoor guide: Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

Courtesy of New Mexico State Parks Rio Grande Nature Center Park is the winter home to Canadian geese, sandhill cranes, various ducks and other water fowl. The nature center has a glass wall library to view birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

• Location: The park is located in Albuquerque and one half mile west of Rio Grande Blvd. on Candelaria Road. It is 3 hours and 42 minutes or 233 miles from Portales. From Clovis it is 4 hours and 253 miles.

• Directions: From Portales take left onto W. Fir St./N.M.-267 for 32 miles and turn left onto US-60/US-84/E. Denby Ave. for 37 miles until you reach Fort Sumner. Turn right onto 4th St./US-84 for 42 miles and merge onto I-40 W. toward Albuquerque for 119.4 miles. Take Rio Grande Blvd. exit 157A and turn right onto Rio Grande Blvd NW/N.M.-194 N. for 1.4 miles. Turn left into Candelaria Rd. NW for .6 of a mile and 2901 Candelaria Rd. NW is on the right. From Clovis take US-84 W. for 57 miles and follow the directions above.

• What do they offer: The park offers bird watching throughout the year. Visitors can observe 250 species of birds including roadrunners and wood ducks, go hiking along the river and view demonstration gardens. Wildlife can be viewed from indoor and outdoor viewing areas. People can see sandhill cranes, porcupines in the winter and lizards and hummingbirds in the summer.

• Park fees: $3 per vehicle; bicycle/walk-in is free; bus $15.

• Information: (505) 344-4505 or nmparks.com