Maricopa Regional Trail reaches halfway point

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PHOENIX -- There’s good news for Valley residents who enjoy hiking and mountain biking.

The Maricopa Regional Trail development project reached the halfway point this month in the construction of 421 miles of trail that will connect the county’s ten parks.

The trail has been in the works for more than a decade, with the majority of the recent work being completed in the San Tan Mountain Regional Park connection from Gilbert.

Trails between Cave Creek and Lake Pleasant are already being used by hikers who are preparing to cross the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim.

An additional 59 miles of trails will be built by July of next year. The majority of the work will be done in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and Tonto National Forest.

“This project will be a great legacy for our children and our children’s children,” said supervisor Andy Kunasek. “I see this project as a ‘Pathway to the Parks,’ where you can experience the desert from the San Tan Mountains to the McDowell’s and Lake Pleasant to White Tank and South Mountains.”

The parks department is looking forward to completing the new trail system, but notes that they can’t maintain the system with just their maintenance funds.

They’re seeking volunteers and local businesses who would be willing to donate their time and other resources to maintain the trails.

For more information on the Maricopa Regional Trail system visit www.maricopa.gov/parks/MaricopaTrail.