Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve (Access through Las Golondrias - fee involved)

Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve (Access through Las Golondrias - fee involved)

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507

Official Website
El Rancho de las Golondrinas Official Website
El Rancho de las Golondrinas map

About this Location

The Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve is a 35-acre nature preserve located on the I-25 frontage road in La Cienega, adjacent to and entered from El Rancho de las Golondrinas. This rare natural marsh, or “cienega” in Spanish, hosts a bountiful diversity of plants and wildlife. The Preserve contains three distinct plant communities or zones: riparian/wetland, transitional, and dry uplands.

The 35-acre site with its spring-fed pond and remarkable diversity of plants and wildlife quickly became the focus of much of the organization’s educational programming. Dedicated Santa Fe Botanical Garden volunteers spent countless hours removing exotic and invasive plants, restoring the habitat through revegetation, and ensuring that the pond remains a healthy environment for riparian plants, birds, and invertebrates.

The Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve is named for Leonora Scott Muse Curtin who first came to New Mexico from New York in 1889. She was an avid naturalist, who spoke fluent Spanish and became interested in plants with medicinal and nutritional values used by Native Americans and early Spanish settlers. She quickly became fascinated with the healing skills of the curanderas, who used naturally growing herbs to treat the sick and injured. Healing Herbs of the Upper Rio Grande compiles Curtin’s research from time spent in the mountain villages of Northern New Mexico.

The wetlands are open to the public by appointment or on announced special open dates. Regular museum admission applies and access to the wetlands will be available through the Las Golondrinas Museum.

About El Rancho de las Golondrinas

See all hotspots at El Rancho de las Golondrinas

El Rancho de las Golondrinas (The Ranch of the Swallows) a historic rancho and now a living history museum, was strategically located on the Camino Real, the Royal Road that extended from Mexico City to Santa Fe. The ranch provided goods for trade and was a place where the caravans that plied the road would stop on their journey coming from or going to Santa Fe. It was a paraje or an official rest stop for travelers on the Camino Real.

El Rancho de las Golondrinas, located on 200 acres in a rural farming valley just south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, strives to maintain examples of historic life-ways. The museum opened in 1972 and is dedicated to the history, heritage and culture of 18th and 19th century New Mexico. Original buildings on the site date from the early 1700s.

Notable Trails

The AllTrails website has a description and map of a hike at Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Entrance fee

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

Content from Official Website and El Rancho de las Golondrinas Official Website

Last updated July 4, 2023

Please note: North is not "up" on this map