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The paved Rio Salado Pathway runs along both banks of the Salt River in Tempe. The generally dry waterway was expanded into Tempe Town Lake in 1999, and the scenic waterfront area is now a popular recreational, residential and commercial destination. Often, the trail is referred to as the Tempe Town Lake Trail.
On the lake's south side, the trail connects Arizona State University's main Tempe campus with Tempe Beach Park, as well as the Tempe Marketplace retail mecca. A newer extension on the trail's eastern end continues the trail behind the Tempe Marketplace and under the State Route 202 and 101 interchange to an end at Riverview Park in Mesa. Sloan Park, the spring training home of Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs, was recently built in the park, bringing massive crowds to the area on game days.
The trail is shorter on the lake's north side, but it serves the Tempe Town Lake Marina and provides a critical connection to the Indian Bend Wash Path at its eastern end. Trail users can extend their trip by taking that trail north all the way into downtown Scottsdale.
A bicycle and pedestrian bridge links the two paths over Tempe Town Lake. At the bridge's southern end, the trailside Tempe Center for the Arts offers a variety of exhibits and events in a critically praised building.
Parking and restrooms for the Rio Salado Paths are available at Tempe Beach Park (54 W. Rio Salado Parkway) in Tempe and Riverview Park (2100 W. Rio Salado Parkway) in Mesa.
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