New Maricopa Trail Will Connect County Parks

Already dubbed as Phoenix’s Appalachian Trail, Phoenix’s newest trail is designed to link Maricopa County’s 10 parks.

Simply called the Maricopa Trail, the 421-mile path is halfway completed and is set to be finished in 2015. The trail has been in the works for the past 10 years.

The Maricopa Trail will also contain a smaller loop called the Sun Circle Trail that will include popular canal trails and Phoenix’s South Mountain Park.



White Tank Mountains

Primed for casual walkers and appreciators of nature, the trail will also appeal to adventurous athletes, like endurance horseback riders, long-distance runners and extreme hikers.

The trail will link Lake Pleasant to the White Tank Mountains in the southwest. From there, an offshoot from the White Tanks will lead to the Adobe Dam Regional Park. Moving south along the White Tanks, a fork will divide to the Buckeye Hills in the west and Sierra Estrella near Goodyear to the east.

It will then follow east through Phoenix’s South Mountain Park and on to the Santan Mountains, eventually turning north toward Usery Mountain Regional Park, continuing into the McDowell Mountains and finally curving northwest back to Spur Cross Ranch near the edge of Cave Creek.

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Map of the Maricopa Trail

The trails between Cave Creek and Lake Pleasant are already being used for hikers training to cross the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim.

An additional 59-miles will be constructed by July 2013, mostly in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and Tonto National Forest.

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