Rutted trail in Saguaro park closed, replaced

2014-02-18T18:00:00Z 2014-02-21T11:17:42Z Rutted trail in Saguaro park closed, replacedBy Doug Kreutz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Hikers had been in a rut, literally, on the Carrillo Trail at Saguaro National Park East — but now a deeply rutted part of the route has been closed and replaced with a new section of trail.

The newly rerouted section, part of a network of trails that can be accessed from the eastern dead-end of Speedway, is scheduled to open today. It’s 0.7 of a mile long and is sited east of the closed trail segment.

“The steep portion of the old trail was deeply rutted because the trail tracks directly up a hill, without switchbacks to divert water off the path,” said Brad Shattuck, facilities manager for Saguaro Park. “This rutting increases erosion, decreases water quality, isn’t sustainable, and isn’t pleasant to walk in, especially when wet.”

The rerouted segment of the trail provides more variety in scenery and a more pleasant experience for hikers, horseback riders and trail runners, park officials said.

“It’s been in the planning stages for about two years, and we’re excited to see it finally coming to fruition,” said Andy Fisher, a spokeswoman for the park. “The trail will be more sustainable now, easier to maintain.”

Fisher said work on the rerouted trail was done by trail crews and took about two weeks to complete. She had no immediate cost estimate for the work.

“The old (closed) trail will be revegetated in order to stabilize the area and prevent additional erosion,” Fisher said.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@azstarnet.com or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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