This is the second in a series exploring Tucson on foot. This walk shows off a park with mountain views, a Tucson "river," shopping, dining and an opportunity to see bats. It will take you over part of The Loop — a path that reaches around the city.
• Park in the Rillito River Park lot on North Campbell Avenue just north of the Tucson Village Farm.The farm has U-Pick Tuesday evenings and lots of programming for kids. It is run by the Pima County Cooperative Extension and the University of Arizona.
• Head east down the path. If you go out after a monsoon has rolled through, there may be water in the Rillito River and toads under the creosote and mesquite trees.A bout 250 feet down the path you’ll see Rio Vista Natural Resources Park.There is play equipment for the little ones, running space for dogs, dirt trails for walking and a great view of the Catalinas.The park can also be reached from the end of Tucson Boulevard.
• Continue east on the path until you come to the bridge that crosses the river.The Tucson Racquet Club is on your right. If you head east from the end of the bridge you’ll find Green Things Nursery about 250 feet down the path. If you keep going, you’ll come to Brandi Fenton Memorial Park, which features multiple climbing structures, a dog park and a splash pad. Heading to the park will tack an additional 2 miles onto to your walk.
Walk west from the end of the bridge to continue our loop.
• Follow the path until you come to the underpass at the Campbell Avenue bridge. At sunset in the spring and summer, thousands of bats fly out from underneath the bridge to go hunt for food. It's an amazing sight. Pro tip: They usually fly west and you don't want to be directly under the bridge as they dive and dip.
• At the top of the underpass is St. Philip’s Plaza. Stop here for food, drinks or shopping. Saturday and Sunday mornings there's a bustling farmers market and usually a coffee truck out on the path.
• Take the sidewalk across the Campbell Avenue bridge to return to your starting point.