Arizona Trail Completed- 817 miles from Mexico to Utah
Kelvin, Arizona (December 16, 2011) - The ceremony was a small one but the occasion was monumental. The Arizona Trail, a continuous 817 mile path connecting from Mexico to Utah, was completed today. The ceremony was held high on a remote mountainside, overlooking the Gila River, in the White Canyon passage of the Arizona Trail, not far from tiny Kelvin, Arizona.
“This trail connects mountains, desert, rivers, and canyons- but what it really connects is people” said Arizona Trail Association president Emily Nottingham. Many agency partners and volunteers worked together to complete this path used by hikers, bikers, and equestrians.
26 years ago, Flagstaff teacher Dale Shewalter walked from Mexico to the Utah border to scout out a route that would ultimately become the Arizona Trail. Shewalter died in 2010 but founding member of the Arizona Trail Association Jan Hancock said, “Dale’s spirit was felt today”
Several long-time Arizona Trail supporters and activists constructed the final stretch of trail, followed by installation of a commemorative Bureau of Land Management brass cap monument set in concrete. The newly-constructed passage will open for public use in early January.
The public, grand celebration commemorating completion of the trail will be held on February 4th, 2012 at the PERA club in Tempe, Arizona. Visit http://www.aztrail.org for reservations and details of the event.