The Midtown/University neighborhood is bounded by freeways and major thoroughfares. It wraps around Nob Hill and surrounds the University of New Mexico. Several historic districts make up this neighborhood, including Spruce Park, established in the 1920s, and Martineztown, established in the early 1820s as a stop on El Camino Real. Within this hub of activity, are delightful green areas offering a wide range of activities — from basketball and tennis to walking trails and children’s play areas.
At 1825 Edith Blvd. NE and McKnight is a spacious combination of several parks located at a historic crossroads of the El Camino Real del Tierra Adentro, which is now the route of Interstate 25, and Tijeras Canyon. This park is a national historic trail of the National Park Service (NPS). A Martineztown Walking Tour App is available to provide more information.
The legacy of centuries of conflict, cooperation, and cultural exchange is recognized in numerous ways throughout the park, including informational signs, tile murals, and a walkway noting the distances between communities on the Royal Road between Santa Fe and Mexico City. The park also includes portions of the Acequia Madre irrigation ditch that provided water from the Rio Grande to the agricultural community of that era.
The combined park covers more than 10 acres filled with large trees and grass. An informal soccer field requires players to bring the goals and boundaries and a basketball court and ball diamond have lights for night games. BirdingHotspots.org reports sightings of 40 species of birds. Families can enjoy picnic tables and a playground for children.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park Sport Field
This park at 801 Odelia Rd. NE (Indian School and Locust) bumps against the Martineztown-Santa Barbara park and covers more than 12 acres. The manicured park features memorial sculptures in the surrounding landscape of trees and flowers. An amphitheater and a large open field have a dramatic backdrop of the Sandia mountains.
This is one of two City of Albuquerque parks with sports fields for softball, flag football, and soccer. Martineztown Sport Field is the second park with these amenities. These parks are near one another. There are 205 parking spaces available in this sports complex.
Netherwood Park at 26013 Morrow Rd. NE serves an active neighborhood. Netherwood Park Bites is held on Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. to dusk and features food trucks and local music. The 5-acre open space provides large grassy areas, including a small hill for children to roll down — or, in winter, sled down. The open area provides ample room for lawn games, frisbee, kite flying and picnicking under the shade trees. Dogs on a leash are welcome. Enjoy the excellent views of the Sandias and the skyline.
Miracerros Urban Forest Park
This park at 1900 Notre Dame Dr. NE is part of the Netherwood Park neighborhood. The historic park in the Netherwood Park/North Campus area was designated in 1950. It is an acre of evergreen trees, desert brush, and dirt. The entrance is between houses along the long alley from two dead-end streets: Lafayette or Notre Dame. The dirt trails often are shaded by a full canopy of trees with sparse ground cover. BirdingHotspots.org reports 65 species of birds.
Altura Park at 4200 Hannette NE extends over six acres. At the heart of the park tennis courts and a sports field for soccer and volleyball are the main attraction. Picnic tables and a play area are surrounded by established trees. A half-mile prescription trail loop circles the park with a four-foot-wide path. Dogs are welcome. BirdingHotspots.org reports 80 species of birds.
Altura Park Food Truck Thursdays feature a variety of cuisines and treats along with local music from 5 p.m. – dusk.
Find Summit Park at 3000 Constitution NE. It has a bit over one acre of space with some large trees, cool grassy areas, and resident roadrunners. The children’s play area features a tire swing and there is a paved area with a basketball hoop. Picnic tables and benches provide encourage lingering. Don’t miss the Halloween pumpkin display. Dogs are welcome. Birding Hotspot reports 54 species of birds. There are no bathrooms.
Two short prescription trails encourage a stroll. A longer loop is reported to be 360 steps, while the shorter loop is 148 steps. This trail also is popular for walking dogs around. The concrete walkways also invite scooters, bicycles, and rollerblades.
Spruce Park at 1300 Spruce St. NE, sits at the corner of Roma Avenue and Spruce Street. It is the center of the Spruce Park neighborhood of historic homes built from the 1920s onward. It has a children’s play area with grass and large trees. This less than one-acre park provides a few picnic tables, but no bathrooms. Birding Hotspot reports 36 species. Amble along a path to discover a brass memorial plaque tucked beneath one of the shady trees stating: “Love is all; Joyce Cooper; We love you.”
Read about parks in Nob Hill here.