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Glenwood — for outdoor lovers

By Joann Mazzio

Last updated on Saturday, January 04, 2003

Glenwood, New Mexico Photo by Carla DeMarco
Glenwood, New Mexico
From 1747 when Spanish explorers discovered Indians farming in the verdant valley until today, visitors have enjoyed the quiet beauty of the San Francisco River country. Glenwood with its quaint shops, motels, and restaurants, is the center of this valley in West Central New Mexico.

The village of 300 people is 65 miles northwest of Silver City on US 180, and is 39 miles south of Reserve. The first house was built there in 1878 when this spot was called the Bush Ranch. Later, it was named White Water for the creek that runs through it. As a stage stop, it was called Glenwood Springs. The name of Glenwood was bestowed in 1901.

New Mexico's first powered airplane flight took place in 1909 near Glenwood. The owner of the stage stop built a plane which landed on what is now called Whitewater Mesa.

At 4,700 feet, Glenwood looks up to the Mogollon Mountains to the east. Mining in the mountains has always affected Glenwood. One of the biggest tourist attractions today is the Catwalk in beautiful Whitewater Canyon. A mere five paved miles from the village, this historic remnant of the short-lived mining town of Graham records 29,000 visitors a year, either using the trail or the picnic area at the mouth of the canyon.

Cooney's Tomb is also visited by the curious, who drive seven miles north of Glenwood to the southern outskirts of Alma, turn right on a dirt road and five miles later see a huge boulder smack-dab beside the road. Inside is sealed the body of James C. Cooney who discovered gold ore in the Mogollons in the 1870's, and was killed on this spot in 1880 by Apaches.

In the mountains, about 15 miles from Glenwood, is the old mining town of Mogollon. From here, roads lead into the heart of the Gila National Forest.

Glenwood has been called a sportsman's paradise. The Glenwood State Trout Hatchery is located a short distance from the center of the village. Picnic tables and an obliging staff make this an interesting stop for children. Birders should be on the watch for great blue heron. Also in the area are Rocky Mountain big horn sheep, mule deer, and elk.

At the end of a day in the pristine outdoors, birders, hunters, fishermen, hikers, and just plain sightseers can relax and enjoy food and lodging in Glenwood's welcoming motels and restaurants.

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