The Layered Look
A favorite activity for birders is to go out to the Bosque del Apache at dawn to watch the snow geese get up in the morning (it's much more exciting than it sounds!). You can drive in and sit in your car, but sooner or later you'll have to get out -- and it can be REALLY cold. I wore a fleece hat, 2 jackets, a turtleneck, heavy corduroy pants, long underwear, wool gloves, wool socks, and fleece-lined boots -- and I STILL nearly froze! But it's usually dry during the winter, although snow is possible, so I've never needed rain gear. Telephoto lenses advised -- most of the birds are rather blase about human beings, and there's even a bird blind in one area; but if you want to get eyeball-to-eyeball with a bald eagle, you'll need a good lens. Bring binoculars, for the same reasons you want telephoto lenses.
There are a couple of short hiking trails off the main tour loop, and you don't need boots for those (I've done them in sandals!).
There's also a longer trail that runs up a mountain, which I haven't taken; but, given the distance and the elevation gain, I'd advise footwear with sturdy soles and good ankle support.
Basaic Socorro Page
"Socorro County Courthouse"
The Socorro County Courthouse was built in 1940 using the Spanish Pueblo Revival Style of architecture. It replaced the one built in 1884 using the High Victorian style of architecture that was damaged by an earthquake in 1906. This is a pretty building with projecting Vigas (dry peeled logs used for decoration) and wooden lintels.
"Mission San Miguel"
The mission here was founded in 1598 and the parish established in 1615. The mission was built in 1821 and was originally called "Nuestra Senora de Perpetuo Socorro" (Our Lady of Perpetual Help). The mission quickly became a center for the community and its activities. In the early 1800s a band of Apache planned to attack the church; but called it off when they reportedly saw a man with wings carrying a sword hovering over the doorway to the mission. A petition was made to the bishop to change the name to San Miguel in honor of St Michael Angelic protector of the people. The church is very impressive and a pretty reminder of the town history.
"Garcia Opera House"
Probably the most famous building in Socorro after the mission is the Garcia Opera House. It is located a short distance from Kittrel Park and was built by Francesca Garcia in 1884 using money left to her by her late husband. The opera house was built with curved walls 34 inches in width to improve the strength and the acoustics of the building. It also has possibly the last "raked" stage in existence in the United States.
AGBAT's new Socorro Page
This is one of those Historic Markers you will see in New Mexico. This one is for the area around the Very Large Aray west of Socorro. If you click on the map you should be able to make out a symbol for the VLA near Hiway 60 west of Magdelena.