Why is the County taking the lead in trails?

Maricopa County is taking the lead in trails for a number of reasons. The County has the responsibility of regional planning. As Maricopa County continues to grow at an amazing rate, it becomes increasingly important to preserve a portion of our natural desert as open space. As good stewards, we have an obligation to leave a legacy for future generations. Simply stated, it is a quality of life issue.

The Regional Trail System is a natural step in the County's regional planning process. It meets goals identified in all four elements (Land Use, Transportation, Environmental, and Economic Development) of the Maricopa County 2020, Eye To the Future, Comprehensive Planadopted October 20, 1997.

The Regional Trail System Plan identifies three goals:

Provide a shared use, nonmotorized trail system to connect the Maricopa County Regional Parks together.
Link metropolitan areas, municipal trails, communities, and neighborhoods with regional nonmotorized multi-modal corridors.
Provide open space corridors to protect natural and cultural resources from development.

How will the Trail be created?

Linking open space projects and trail systems into one big loop around the County will create the Regional Trail System. Many of the trail corridors identified in the plan are under the jurisdiction of Federal, State, and Local agencies other than Maricopa County. The County’s goal is to work in partnership with these agencies to facilitate the connectivity, funding, design, and construction of an interconnected trail network. The project will capitalize on existing right-of-ways such as canals, parks, utility corridors, and flood control projects.

How will the Trail be funded?

To help support the Maricopa Trail,the Maricopa Trail Park Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization has been formed. The Maricopa Trail Park Foundation Board of Directors will focus their community-wide talents on fundraising. This resource will help to build the Maricopa Trail and Education/Cultural Centers at Maricopa County Regional Parks.

How many miles is the Trail?

  • The Maricopa County Regional Trail System is 1,521 miles total.
  • The Maricopa Trail is 315 miles long.

Who can use the Trail?

The Maricopa Trail will have a recreational , environmental, and economic impact. It will provide opportunities in the fields of sports, recreation, health, and education, as well as have an impact on economic development by increasing property values and enhancing tourism. The Maricopa Trail will be designed and constructed to national guidelines. It will accommodate runners, walkers, cyclists, inline skaters, and equestrians and will be accessible to all ages and physical abilities.