For when you have a sports complex
Skunk Creek Trail is the ultimate trail, in terms of a multi-use pathway anyway. Skunk Creek Trail simply connects the New River Trail to the Arizona Canal Diversion Channel then Skunk heads north on it's own accord and becomes a convenient running or bicycling path. It is also a safe pathway for Peoria residents to use to get to the Peoria Sports Complex area.
Skunk creek trail starts at the northern most tip of the parking area inside Rio Vista Community Park. The parking lot is well lit at dawn and dusk and a security guard is almost always on site patrolling the area.
Park hours vary but are generally 6am-10pm Monday - Friday. The parking lot is gated at night so you must be out of the park before it closes or your vehicle is subject to a citation.
Right out of the parking lot the trail drops you into the wash and leads you under Loop 101 and 83rd Avenue in no time at all. You'll pass a lovely little "swamp" full of critters galore. I've personally seen small herds of javelina, coyotes, rabbits of all sorts, roadrunners, cardinals, great horned owls and more down along this trail.
The trail skirts the swamp and takes you up out of the wash and you continue on it's south side for a while. Right about here you get those nice views of Peoria Sports Complex--keep that in mind for Holidays involving Fireworks!
The trail continues parallel along the Peoria Sports Complex area for a while then takes you under 75th avenue. Right around here you have crossed in the city of Glendale, and the trail crosses the wash and heads up on the north side of the wash until 73rd avenue where you will make a sharp left into the neighborhood. There's a big sign with a map to lead your way.
You could always continue along the wash but that would take you out to Metro Center Mall and beyond all the way to Scottsdale via the Arizona Canal path.
Once you go up 73rd avenue you cross under Bell Road and follow the trail as it gets smooth and level. At 67th avenue you will cross the road (the only actual road crossing on the entire route). There is a stop sign and you should proceed with caution especially on your bicycle. From this point on interpretive signs start popping up, and you'll notice some equestrian hitching posts (yes this is a multi-use pathway, and horses always have the right of way). You'll pass several parks complete with playgrounds, volleyball courts and as one sign notes "Water and Shade ahead".
The trail stays the same after that and will take you under a few more low bridges, past a few more recreation centers and some older horse properties, before you finally climb up the path toward 51st avenue and a looming green sign will inform you "Bike Route Ends"....well, you made it, so turn around and go back again!
Not too shabby on a bicycle or as a runner but if you were to walk this pathway in its entirety you might get a bit bored with the never ending drabness of the smooth, flat pathway.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.