New segment of The Loop adds safety, recreation connection in OV

Published on May 24, 2023


ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (May 24, 2023) – Oro Valley has a new half-mile multiuse path segment of The Chuck Huckelberry Loop that provides a quick and safe connection to the regional trail system. In partnership with the Pima County Regional Flood Control District, the new segment, which is north of the Oro Valley Hospital, extends the pathway further north and connects to Rancho Vistoso Boulevard. Previously, users had to cycle or walk along Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and through Big Wash, traveling over dirt sections, to directly connect to The Loop. The new segment is now paved and striped, separating users from the road.

Big Wash, a major tributary to the Cañada del Oro Wash, managed by both the Town and Pima County, is a key floodplain, wildlife and riparian habitat area where hundreds of acres of open space are protected. In addition to safety, the new segment provides direct access into Big Wash, allowing for floodplain management, monitoring and maintenance to identify and prevent flood hazards.

This section of The Loop was planned by the Town’s Community and Economic Development (CED) Department as part of the Rancho Vistoso Planned Area Development to be built by the developer. The pathway was also identified in the Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Trails Master Plan. Seeing the pathway come to fruition took years of cooperation between Town staff and Pima County. The county first built The Loop underpass connection at Tangerine Road up to the Oro Valley Hospital. In spring 2022, Pima County built the next phase along the existing bank protection for Big Wash. To build the connecting pathway, CED coordinated with surrounding HOA’s in securing public rights-of-way along where the trail was to be built. Oro Valley Stormwater coordinated with the Pima County Regional Flood Control District in constructing the pathway extension. Construction of the new multiuse path segment finished in early May 2023.

“This new segment of The Loop is a direct result of regional collaboration,” said Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield. “It improves the trail experience for cyclists and pedestrians, and—more importantly—this connection increases public safety. It keeps trail users off the roadway, which means they can focus on the scenic views instead of the traffic.”

Oro Valley’s trail system for hikers, bikers, runners and other users is comprised of several types of surfaces, from paved multiuse paths to more primitive dirt trails. The Town of Oro Valley Parks and Recreation is responsible for about 30 miles of trails within Town limits. Paths along the Cañada del Oro Wash and Big Wash are part of the Pima County Huckelberry Loop system.

“The Town of Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Department’s mission is “Inspire Connection through Recreation.” This mission is met, literally with the new Loop connection to Rancho Vistoso Boulevard,” said Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Director Kristy Diaz-Trahan. “This connectivity provides safe, non-vehicular access to and from the northern portion of our community adding to the already coveted trail system in Oro Valley.”

The Chuck Huckelberry Loop is a 137-mile system of paved, shared-use pathways and bike lanes that extend through unincorporated Pima County, Marana, Oro Valley, Tucson and South Tucson. The section of trail that connects Oro Valley to the the larger system features access points at Riverfront Park, Steam Pump Ranch, Honeybee Canyon Park and Catalina State Park. The Loop was voted “Best Recreational Trail” in the country by readers of USA Today in 2021 and 2022.

For more information about Oro Valley Parks and Recreation, click here. For more information about the Chuck Huckelberry Loop, click here.