TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -The Chuck Huckelberry Loop is gaining national attention, now nominated as the best recreational trail in the nation in USA Today’s 2021 “10 Best Readers’ Choice” travel award contest.
“I’m not surprised,” said Gary Stoeger, who often rides on the Loop.
With more than 136 miles of paved trail, the Loop is the longest public recreation, multi-use path in the nation.
“What really started out as a bank for flood control just expanded,” said Diane Frisch, Attractions & Tourism Director, Pima County. “You see mountains, you see desert.”
Picked by a group of panelists and voted by the public, the Loop beat out places in Hawaii, Texas and California. It has provided an economic boost for Pima County for years—bringing cyclist from around the nation and world. This new recognition is likely to bring in more tourism dollars the county has been missing out on.
“We get about seven million visitors on a good year… we’re beginning to see that back,” said Frisch.
But more than tourism, during COVID-19, it’s provided a refuge for people, a place to escape, and just like a loop—connect.
“Right now, with everything that’s going on people need a little bit of a break,” said Luis Ortiz, who was riding on the Loop Friday.
“Everyone’s really friendly out here, especially in the middle of the pandemic, it’s really nice to have a place where you can still connect,” said Susannah, who was running with her dog on the Loop Friday.
The county says if this brings more people to the loop, it is a good reminder to follow the rules and be courteous to other users out there.