Sugarite Canyon State Park (tel. 575/445-5607), 10 miles northeast of Raton via NM 72 and NM 526, offers historic exhibits, camping, boating, and excellent fishing at two trout-stocked lakes. Lake Alice is the best place in the park for fly-fishing. Numerous hiking trails meander through the park, and a museum at the visitor center traces the canyon's mining history.
South of US 56 via NM 39 is the westernmost of the two parcels that comprise the Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands (tel. 575/374-9652). The 263,954-acre area is a project to reclaim once-barren prairie land, the result of over-farming in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the Great Plains Dustbowl of the 1930s. Today the plains are irrigated and green, and the area provides food, cover, and water for a wide variety of wildlife.