Pima County looking at extending parts of the Loop

Pima County looking at extending parts of the Loop
A small portion of The Loop that runs around Pima County. (Source: KOLD News 13 Staff)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A popular stretch of parks and paths in Pima County could be getting bigger.

Many residents have likely biked or jogged on what's known as "The Loop", which covers more than 50 miles in and around the Tucson area.

Pima County leaders are working on a plan to extend parts of it on the north and east sides.

Though nothing is final yet. Pima County officials have been asking locals what additions they would like to see.

For those who ride the Loop every day, like Buck Lentzer, it's exciting to hear what could be in store.

"People ask me all the time - but I do enjoy riding in the heat. Without the monsoon humidity, it's a lot nicer," even in the triple digit temps, Lentzer will be out on the Loop all the time. "You're out here in the middle of the day wondering what am I doing out here?"

Plans to extend The Loop

He bikes around the paths anywhere between three and five times a week. He runs the other days. Before the Loop existed, he wasn't outdoors nearly as much. The Loop was made for people like him, and likely the reason why Pima County created it in the first place. Those who use it, love it.

"No cars to really contend with, which makes it so much nicer," said Lentze

That is why Pima County is adding onto it. They're developing a master plan to connect people to more of the Tucson area. The county has ideas to run the path right up through Catalina State Park and connect from Craycroft to Tanque Verde, providing access to Sabino Canyon.

That's an area that Lentzer would love to have easier access to. He makes the trek to the recreation area often, himself.

"Going out Sabino Canyon Road, it was a little more hazardous than it used to be. with all the traffic and the building of the new apartments out there," he said.

Pima County also wants to extend the end of The Loop from Pantano out to the Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, and along the Santa Cruz River south of Valencia.

The county says this is a plan that could take several years, but one of the first places people will see a difference is off of Orange Grove.

In the next year, they'll be moving the Loop path off the frontage road to alongside the Santa Cruz River.

A link to their master plan and a map of it can be found here >> http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=447835

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.