The Loop is a system of paved, shared-use paths and short segments of buffered bike lanes connecting the Rillito, Santa Cruz, and Pantano River Parks with the Julian Wash and Harrison Road Greenways. It extends through unincorporated Pima County, Marana, Oro Valley, Tucson, and South Tucson. The Loop connects parks, trailheads, bus and bike routes, workplaces, restaurants, schools, hotels and motels, shopping areas, and entertainment venues. It is 131 miles total linking 30 parks and is the longest public multi-use path in the U. S. Click on the map below to enlarge or this link for an interactive map.
Starting on March 13th, Trails Inspire is partnering with Pima County and Visit Tucson to promote the The Loop. Hike The Loop will be covering all the river parks and greenways in the system, hiking approximately 80 miles in five days. The hike will end at The Loop completion celebration on March 17th at Kino Sports Complex. Sirena Dufault is the founder of Trails Inspire, a consulting company that promotes the outdoors via photography, freelance writing, public speaking and trail design. She has logged thousands of miles hiking, backpacking, rafting and canyoneering in the Southwest and considers the Grand Canyon her second home.
Sirena will be joined by Liz Thomas, who is among the most experienced female hikers in the U.S. and known for backpacking light, fast, and solo. She is affectionately known as the “Queen of Urban Hiking,” having pioneered and completed routes in 5 cities. She is an award-winning author, public speaker and advocate for public lands. She will also be giving a talk on thru-hiking at the Tucson REI on March 16th from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.
During the hike, Sirena and Liz will be posting on Trails Inspire’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, as well as The Loop’s Facebook page, doing live feeds and sharing the art, parks, and other points of interest they discover on their journey across Tucson with the hashtag #HikeTheLoop. Each day, they will highlight the food that makes Tucson a UNESCO International City of Gastronomy, partnering with such local favorites as Barrio Bread and Veg Box. They will also be promoting diversity with their message that the outdoors is for everyone.
The hike will end at the Completion Celebration at Kino Sports Complex on March 17th. Sign up to join Sirena and Liz as they hike the last 4.2 miles from Augie Acuña Los Ninos Park at 5432 S. Bryant Avenue into the Completion Celebration, arriving at Kino Sports Complex. Jasmine the adorable Mini-Donkey will be along for the hike and event. There will be entertainment and activities for adults and kids alike and a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 11:30. Transportation will be available at 1 pm to shuttle people back to their cars. The hike is free but registration is required through REI at bit.ly/CompletionCelebrationHike.
There are also completion celebrations for The Loop taking place on the 17th at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.
Born out of the disastrous floods of 1983, The Loop began taking shape when Pima County taxpayers started investing their Pima County Regional Flood Control District dollars in building soil-cement banks along the metropolitan waterways to guard against future flooding. The County took the opportunity to build along those overbank areas a river park system that has become one of the most popular recreational facilities in the region.
We hope you’ll follow along on social media as we Hike The Loop and join us for the completion celebration on March 17th! See the video below for a taste of what The Loop has to offer.
Media inquiries: contact Sirena Dufault at email@example.com