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Rillito and Santa Cruz paths connected, unofficially

Signs remind pedestrians and bicyclists that the path isn't open for business just yet.

It has been a long time coming, but the Santa Cruz and Rillito Path are connected, although Pima County officials have not officially opened it up to cyclists and pedestrians.

Nanette Slusser, the county’s assistant county administrator, said they are still finalizing a few of the details before officially opening it to the public.

She said the goal is to have the path open the first week of August.

While the path isn’t officially open, people have been riding on it for the past few weeks. The connection creates a path that is more than 20 miles long.

Slusser said the county is also working on several projects along the river park including a path north along the Santa Cruz to Ina Road.

Check out the Arizona Daily Star’s story about the connection of the paths.

Below are images and a GPS overlay of the route between Mountain Avenue and Speedway Boulevard along the Rillito and Santa Cruz.

A gate at the west end of the Rillito River path prevents vehicles from accessing the path which heads underneath the railroad tracks and Interstate 10. Slusser said the path may be full of debris because of the recent rains.

The Rillito Path crosses underneath the railraod tracks. The path gets covered with sand after heavy rains that requires sweeping.

The Rillito Path heads underneath the interstate.

The Rillito connects to a new maintenance road on the west side of the interstate.

The maintenance road continues south between the interstate and a pecan grove.

A fence on the south side of the maintenance road has been smashed down to make it easier to climb over. Slusser said before the it is officially open, they will create a short path connecting the two sections.

 

The county has added new paths from Grant Road to Sunset Road.

 

New bridges help path users get across various washes along the Santa Cruz River.

 

Signs remind pedestrians and bicyclists that the path isn't open for business just yet.

 

 

4 comments
straw
straw

Yeah it's nice and all but do not be on the east side of that path north of Grant.  It's all dirt and it eventually ends and you have to scramble down a steep bank then back up with your bike in one hand.  The dirt diverges by the sewer treatment plant and you can take a high path or a better low path.  I did finally get tire of riding in sand and I crossed the river to the west bank in the middle of Silverbell Park.  Paved bliss for maybe 3/4's of a mile and then I lost the path on the north side of Camino Del Cerro.  I kind of meandered around on the east side of the river past the homeless encampments with the trail becoming increasingly sand I finally just headed towards the freeway.  Oh there it is the actual path, paved and not too confusing even as it passed the pecan groves and connected to the Rillito path.  Here's another tip don't be on the south bank of the Rillito east of Oracle.  It's a lot easier to cross sides on the west side of the bridge.  Oh well nice ride and I'll just do better next time.  

jeff fearnow
jeff fearnow

Where the fence is mashed down, follow the fence west and just walk around. A survey team gave us that protip when we rode it last month sometime.

zz
zz

El Grupo rode through there today. That makes it official.