Get ready to walk and ride — the weather will be changing soon. And the city of Peoria is expanding opportunities for its residents to take advantage of the great outdoors.
From the northernmost point north of Lake Pleasant (Bear Claw Road alignment, 52200 block) to the southernmost point at Northern Avenue (8000 block), the city of Peoria measures approximately 28 miles and lies within two counties. Within its borders are 42 miles of hiking trails, 18.2 miles of bike paths and 11.25 miles of mountain trails.
The person in charge of all those trails and paths is Peoria Superintendent of Trails and Open Space Brandon Putman. He gave an accounting of the trailheads by the numbers.
“We have four trailheads and we are counting Rio Vista Community Park as one of those trailheads,” Putman said.
Two popular trailheads are New River Trailhead at Fletcher Heights and the Skunk Creek Trailhead.
A ribbon-cutting will be held at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 30 for the New River Trailhead at Westbrook Village, just north of Union Hills Drive at 19259 N. 83rd Ave.
“We haven’t started looking at Agua Fria yet,” Putman said. “We’re still starting place making along the New River Trail. Next year, we will be extending New River Trail from Williams Road to Pinnacle Peak Road. The following year, we are working on extending the trail from Pinnacle Peak to Happy Valley Road.
“We can’t speak to the amount of the miles planned, nor the trailheads that are planned. We are currently working on funding for those items, either through grants or our municipal capital improvement budget.”
The southern part of New River is in Glendale, and Peoria picks up New River just past 99th Avenue on Northern, just west of the Park West shopping center.
New River Trail goes from Northern Avenue to Williams Road. With those two expansions in the next two years, that will take it all the way to Happy Valley Road.
“Our intention then is to take it all the way to Jomax Road,” Putman said. “Nothing is set yet for that extension.”
Putman said the anticipation is to connect the linear city via the multiuse pathway, which the city is considering as part of its transportation plan.
He said the city hopes bikers will make use of it not just as a recreation path but also as a commuting path.
Litter is always a problem, but the city has a partial solution.
Putman said, “We utilize individuals doing court-ordered community service to clean the trails and river bottoms — about two to three times a month. We have our one volunteer event in April, New River Cleanup Day. Our local Eagle Scouts group helps maintain our mountain trails. We’ve done two Eagle Scout projects and a couple more are in the planning stages.”
To volunteer for the effort, individuals are invited to the New River Cleanup Day in the spring. If you are part of a trail or mountain hiking group, call Putman to aid in the trail system for all users.
If you use the trail system, contact Putman to set up a volunteer group. Also, contact him if you have questions, comments or concerns. Putman said he and his staff “will do our best to address them.”
Another fact: “Annually, we average about 4,700 participants in weekend trail events, mostly 5Ks and half marathons,” Putman said.
Putman can be reached at 623-773-5245.
Eastwing Mountain Trailhead
7098 W. Miner Trail
The trailhead for East Wing Mountain is at Sonoran Mountain Ranch Park. The entire loop trail is 1.5 miles in length.
Parking is at Sonoran Mountain Ranch. Avoid parking in adjacent neighborhoods.
Calderwood Butte Trailhead
27192 N. 99th Ave.
The entire loop trail is 1.6 miles in length. Parking is on 99th north of Jomax Road.
Sunrise/Westwing Mountain Trailheads
27100 N. WestWing Parkway
The trailhead for Westwing Mountain trail is 3.1 miles in length and Sunrise Mountain trail is 4.5 miles in length. Parking is at WestWing Park.
Skunk Creek Trailhead
15133 N. 83rd Ave.
Off-street equestrian parking, troughs and chilled drinking water
Parking is on 83rd Avenue north of Greenway Road.
Rio Vista Trailhead
8866 W. Thunderbird Road
Urban fishing lake, ball and multi-use fields, picnic shelters, sand volleyball, skate park, splash pad, Veterans Memorial and a Recreation Center
Parking is at Rio Vista Community Park.
New River Trailhead at Deer Valley Road (just opened Aug. 3)
7639 W. Deer Valley Road
Parking is at 75th Avenue and Deer Valley Road.
New River Trailhead at Westbrook Village (ribbon-cutting set for Aug. 30)
Just north of Union Hills Drive at 19259 N. 83rd Ave.
Parking is north of U.S. Storage Centers.
• Mountain trails — sunrise to sunset
• River trails — sunrise to 10:30 p.m.
• Trailheads — 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
(see Peoria City Codes 7-64 through 7-66):
• Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the trails.
• Pets must be restrained on a leash, no longer than 6 feet in length, and pet waste must be cleaned up and properly disposed of.
• Do not chase, harass, or harm wildlife. Marking, defacing, destruction, tampering, or removal of equipment, plants, and structures is prohibited.
• Ride at a reasonable speed with regard for the safety of others.
• Alcoholic beverages and glass containers are prohibited on trails, trailheads and parking areas.
• Use care and know your ability.
• Take plenty of water.
• Wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
• If encountered, most animals will not bother you unless threatened. Back off and give them room to escape.
If you have more questions about the city of Peoria’s hiking trails, call 623-773-7137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.