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Gila River Canyons - AZT #16
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Gila River Canyons - AZT #16, AZ
2011-12-169 by
 
Globe, AZ
 
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Arizona Trail Completed- 817 miles from Mexico to Utah

Kelvin, Arizona- 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 yesterday. 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.
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
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Globe, AZ
 
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I feel so fortunate to have been part of the small group that was invited to the completion ceremony of the Arizona Trail. It was an incredible day. Even sweeter was that I was there as part of my job with the Arizona Trail Association as their Gateway Community Liaison- I am in charge of outreach to the 25 communities along the trail. After the ceremony and talk of brand-new trail I had to take a short hike down to the Gila River. There were golden cottonwoods along the Gila by the railroad trestle and the river was running. The crew has punched through some incredible trail for such a rugged area, I can't wait to see the whole passage when it opens. With all this new AZT built since I finished my hike in 2009, I'm going to have to hike the whole thing again ;)

I will restate what Sredfield said in an earlier post: "While the continuous path is complete, there is work to be done on this passage. I received a reminder this morning from BLM, who is handling the final touches on this segment, that it is not open for public use. Portions of the 'trail" remain a drill road, which will be reclaimed and turned into the trail in the next few weeks, and there are drilling operations ongoing. Safety is a concern, there are no small accidents around heavy equipment."
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Link Print 
Author
sirena's

158 Photosets
  2012-02-16
  2012-02-13
  2012-02-07
  2012-01-31
  2012-01-24
  2012-01-18
  2012-01-01
  2011-12-22
  2011-12-16
  2011-12-16
  2011-12-15
  2011-11-22
  2011-11-01
  2011-10-05
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  2011-08-24
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