Apache Railroad Multi-Use Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The entire trail follows an historic railroad route offering gentle trail grades and beautiful scenery. Formerly the railroad hauled logs from various parts of the Apache National Forest and the White Mountain Apache Reservation and later hauled tourists from McNary on a tour of the White Mountains. It has been unused for 3 decades.

A unique feature of this trail is the trestle bridge that is 80 feet in length and is similar to the bridges used by the railroad at the turn of the century. It was reconstructed in 1998. The trail also features trailheads at 4 locations so that users have the option to enjoy the entire trail or portions thereof. Each of the trailheads has a toilet and a parking capacity for at least 10 vehicles. The trailheads are located at Railroad Cove at Big Lake, Lightning Ridge, Sheep Crossing, and Big Cienega.

Parking and Trail Access

At Big Lake Railroad Cove - on the southwest side of the lake off of Forest Road 249E; at Big Cienega - on Highway 260, about 17 miles west of Eagar.


Unrealized potential

   March, 2011 by az pete

My wife and I have riden the entire trail on Mt. Bikes a couple of times. We have not encountered other riders on the trail. I suspect that the main reason is the tread is loose cinders, which are coarse in texture. The water crossings are commonly plated ...read more


   November, 2007 by RTCKC

The photos on this page are not from the Railroad Trail near Big lake in eastern Arizona. The photos are from Canyon Lake outside Phoenix. read more

ApacheTrail: NOT for mountain biking

   October, 2005 by John Sharrock

"Last week we rode the Apache Rail Trail from Rt260 to FR87. The scenary in mid-October is beautiful, but the trail was a BIG disappointment. It is very rough and unpleasant for biking. I won't ride the trail again until it is improved and I don't recommend ...read more