ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A couple of hikers have embarked on a 500-mile expedition that will traverse New Mexico from end to end.
The mission: Chart out the best route and identify what challenges might lay ahead as the state moves closer to establishing the Rio Grande Trail.
Following in the footsteps of other states, New Mexico is looking to capitalize on its vistas, mild weather and culture with the creation of a long-distance trail along one of North America's longest rivers.
Officials say outdoor recreation in New Mexico is already a multi-billion-dollar industry and the Appalachian, the Continental Divide and other famous long-distance trails have proven to be beacons for attracting visitors.
The Rio Grande Trail Commission just approved the official logo for the trail and a master plan is expected to be rolled out later this year.