Tucson Oddity

Hemmed-in trail akin to prison yard

Fence, barbed wire aim to keep private property hiker-free
2010-06-14T00:00:00Z 2014-09-05T14:49:03Z Hemmed-in trail akin to prison yardDoug Kreutz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 14, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Perhaps someday you will wake up with a desire to hike a trail that makes you feel as though you were in prison.

First, seek professional help.

If - after receiving counseling - you still wish to take a sort of natural-world equivalent of a "perp walk" or jail-yard ramble, we have the perfect place for you.

It's a trail hemmed in on both sides with 8-foot-high chain-link fences topped with barbed wire.

The half-mile trail, with a county-maintained trailhead at the northern end of Campbell Avenue, may project a certain aura of incarceration - but it also has a practical purpose.

Steve Anderson, planning manager for Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, said the route serves as a public easement through private residential property to national forest lands.

The fences and barbed wire are intended to keep hikers on the trail and off private land.

"The trailhead is open, and the public has the right to be there," Anderson said. "The main purpose now is to provide access to the forest lands" beyond housing developments.

The fenced route was installed when the area was developed in the late 1980s to provide passage to a popular rock-climbing site known as Campbell Cliff. The cliff, which is on private land, is now off-limits to the public, but hikers are free to explore public land in the area.

Those who plan to do so, however, should be adept at back-country travel, because the rocky, steep terrain beyond the fenced route has no established trails.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@azstarnet.com or at 573-4192.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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