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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


2012 UPDATE:
this trail has been beautifully resurfaced--check it out!

Judith Tunell Accessible Trail, South Mountain Park Preserve Recently, I received and e-mail from a family visiting the Valley who wanted to know if there are any Phoenix area trails where they could bring a toddler in a stroller and a grandparent who uses a walker. No problem. Many City of Phoenix parks have barrier-free trails and one of the most interesting is the Judith Tunell loop in South Mountain Park. Designed to exercise the mind as well as the body, the trail features interpretive signs describing everything from the survival mechanisms of ironwood trees to the numerous depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) projects located throughout the park. There’s even a rock face covered in ancient petroglyphs adjacent to the path. Additionally, water fountains, benches and covered ramadas placed along the wide, easy route make getting outdoors accessible to all. LENGTH: 1-mile (two half-mile loops) RATING: easy, barrier-free, maximum grade is 8.5% on stabilized granite. ELEVATION: 1,400 feet (flat) GETTING THERE: From downtown Phoenix, go south on Central Ave. to the entrance of South Mountain Park (south of Dobbins). Pass the main entry gate, take the first left and go roughly 0.25 mile to the Environmental Education Center on the right. The trail begins behind the center. Even though the center is temporarily closed due to budget cutbacks, the trail remains open. Nearest restrooms are located east of the Center at the end of the big parking lot (near the Holbert trailhead). HOURS: All gated roadways, trailhead parking areas, restrooms and ramadas are open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.. Trails remain open until 11 p.m. INFO: City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation, 602 262-7393

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