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Fit in the OV: #DiscoverOroValley

Photo of Nick Scala with Oro Valley Town Seal

At the beginning of each new year, we tend to look back on the previous year and reflect. Did we accomplish everything we set out to? How did we grow or what new things did we try? What did we leave unfinished or put off for a later date? And most importantly, how do we make the upcoming year the best one yet?

January 4, 2018

As you start to answer these questions and set expectations for the year to come, we would like to challenge you to make 2018 the year to discover Oro Valley. Whether you have lived in Oro Valley for most of your life or just moved here, there is always something new to be discovered. Oro Valley is an extraordinary place that provides endless opportunities to get outside and explore. So, before you book those flights out of town, we invite you join us as we venture onto a path of exploration and discovery right here in Oro Valley.

What better way to start the adventure than by lacing up your hiking boots and hitting the trails? The town is responsible for approximately 30 miles of trails (this does not include Catalina State Park and other trail systems managed by other jurisdictions). The trails vary in difficulty, but the breathtaking views and unique landscape remain the same regardless of which park you choose to discover. Have less than an hour? Head out to West Lambert Lane Park (1750 W. Lambert Lane) and take a couple laps around the .5 mile loop; or hit up the Linda Vista trail (730 E. Linda Vista Road) for quick elevation gain that will leave you with a complete, in-the-clouds view of Oro Valley.

Looking to explore the cultural and historical side of Oro Valley? Take a trip out to Honeybee Canyon Park and explore the petroglyphs and large rock dam. Need a new trail to explore? We’ve got you covered with the Big Wash Trail (1880 E. Rancho Vistoso Blvd.), which had its grand opening just last month and provides access to Tortolita Mountain Regional Park and other state-owned land north of Town limits. The Big Wash Trail can be explored by foot, mountain bike and horse. Please visit the "Hiking and Oro Valley Trails" page at orovalleyaz.gov for more information and maps of the different parks.

Along with the outstanding hiking trails, Oro Valley has become one of the best biking communities, not only in Arizona, but throughout the nation. There are nearly 80 miles of bicycle facilities within the Town, including 33.47 miles of signed bike routes, 24.4 miles of paved shoulder, and 21 miles of shared-use paths. What better way to discover Oro Valley than on two wheels? The hills will challenge you mentally and physically but leave you with breathtaking vantage points. And if you’re more into cruising and conversational riding, the shared-use path along the Cañada Del Oro Wash is where you want to be. Spanning diagonally across Oro Valley, the path runs through Oro Valley near North La Cañada Drive and West Linda Vista Blvd., goes past Steam Pump Ranch and ends at the entrance of Catalina State Park. Sounds like we just planned your next Saturday morning: an enjoyable bike ride on the CDO Wash, a quick snack at the Steam Pump Ranch Farmer’s Market and a hike at Catalina State Park! We’ll leave the conversation and company for you to decide.

Discovering Oro Valley is not only about exploring the physical landscape of the town, it’s about exploring a new hobby or interest through town facilities and programs. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try archery but never had the opportunity. Now’s your chance to discover your inner Robin Hood or Katniss at the Oro Valley Archery Range at Naranja Park. We offer beginner lessons to children (8 years old and up), teens and adults.

Looking to get the team back together from high school? Join our first-ever adult kickball league, beginning on February 18. We’ve got something for everyone: golf, pickelball, boot camps, music groups, karate/tae kwon do, ultimate Frisbee, swimming and more. For more information on programs and events, please refer to the spring 2018 Program Guide, which can be found on the Town’s website or pick up a physical copy at any town facility.

So, let 2018 be a year of curiosity, exploration and discovery in Oro Valley. Get outside, challenge yourself and try something new. There’s no telling what you may find or what you may discover about yourself. Who knows: maybe you’re the world’s greatest kickball player! Unfortunately, there are not many accolades for kickball players, but plenty of high fives and fist bumps, that’s for sure. And remember the hashtag, #DiscoverOroValley.

By Nick Scala, Oro Valley Parks & Recreation assistant recreation manager - Explorer Newspaper, 1/4/18