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Saturday, July 29, 2017

RIO SALADO HABITAT RESTORATION AREA

RIO SALADO HABITAT RESTORATION AREA

Phoenix
Dragonflies live in the riparian corridor
Just two miles south of downtown Phoenix, where the Salt River once flowed freely, a former dumping ground has been transformed into a thriving oasis in the desert.
Hiking in The Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area is like taking a step back in time to an era before dams placed along the Verde and Salt Rivers in the early 20th century dried up the channel leaving behind a parched corridor of debris.  Landfills and quarries moved in and the area became blighted. 
The site attracts myriad birds and waterfowl
In 1993, the City of Phoenix began efforts to restore a portion of the river to improve the urban landscape, help in flood management and provide recreation and educational opportunities.  The $100 million project was completed in 2005.
With the cooperation of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County and droves of volunteers, tons of waste were cleared out of the Salt River channel and replaced with ponds, waterfalls and tens of thousands of indigenous plant species.
Watch for herons, egrets and ducks in the secluded coves
Although the 5-mile-long riparian corridor looks as if it sprouted on its own, it’s a “demonstration wetland” that was created by tapping into the groundwater beneath the river channel and pumping more than three million gallons of water per day to sustain the habitat. Stretching from 19th Avenue to 28th Street, the linear greenway can be accessed via numerous parking areas and trailheads.
Desert Senna
Trail segments are organized to feature specific desert habitats such as Cottonwood-Willow, Lower Sonoran, Mesquite Bosque and Palo Verde Forest.
Desert Willow
Over 76,000 native the plants were harvested from seeds or cuttings within a half-mile of the Salt River are flourishing and attracting wildlife. Snowy egrets, raptors, toads and dozens of other species have settled in. The site has over 14 miles of paved and dirt trails and an Audubon Nature Center.
Audubon Center
When hiking here, remember that this is a sensitive area. Please stay on trails, do not enter the water, leave everything as you found it and keep wildlife wild by observing at a distance and never feed them. Leashed dogs are allowed on the paved trails and handlers must pack out pet waste.
Seventh Avenue Bridge
LENGTH: 14.7 miles total
North Overbank Trail: 3.7 miles one way, paved
South Overbank Trail: 3.9 miles one way, Paved
North Terrace Trail: 3.9 miles one way, dirt
South Terrace Trail: 3.2 miles one way, dirt
RATING: easy
ELEVATION: 1010' - 1070'
TRAILHEADS:
2439 S. Central Ave. (Northeast corner)
3212 S. 7th Ave. (Southwest corner)
2801 S. 7th Ave. (Equestrian Staging)
2875 S. 7th St. (Southeast corner)
3203 S. 16th St. (Southeast corner)
HOURS: open daily sunrise to sunset or 7 p.m. whichever comes first
INFO & MAPS:

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