Southern Canal Path

Arizona

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Southern Canal Path Facts

States: Arizona
Counties: Maricopa
Length: 9.3 miles
Trail end points: Tempe Canal Path and Consolidated Canal Path near N. Horne (Mesa) and Arizona Canal Path at Salt River (Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community)
Trail surfaces: Gravel
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 8184803
Trail activities: Bike, Horseback Riding, Walking

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Southern Canal Path Description

The Southern Canal Path is an unpaved route along the South Canal in Maricopa County. One of several trails along the extensive canal network in the area, the Southern Canal Path links to four others: both the Tempe Canal Path and Consolidated Canal Path at its southern end in Mesa, the Arizona Canal Path at its northern end in the Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community, and the Eastern Canal Path at its midpoint in Mesa.

The southern stretch of the trail passes through residential neighborhoods of Mesa, but after its junction with the Eastern Canal Path, the trail opens up into a vast desert landscape. Be sure to bring ample drinking water, as amenities are nonexistent and trail users are few and far between on this stretch of trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Southern Canal Path is available at the Park of the Canals (1710 N. Horne) in Mesa. Be sure to visit the botanical garden within the park, too.

Southern Canal Path Reviews

The trail is wide, and gently uphill. The rough surface is more suitable for mountain bikes and hybrids, not good for a road bike. Approx 1 mile is paved, presumably to keep the dust down for a nearby subdivision.
To get to the trail, turn right as you exit the Horne Rd gate. The trail begins on the other side of the road, on the left side of the canal.
You will pass an orange grove and many horse properties for the first half of the ride. Look for large carp swimming in the canal.
At the small hydro power station at E McDowell Rd, stay left to go though the underpass rather than going up a steep concrete incline.
About half way along the trail you will pass under the Red Mountain Fwy and the populated area ends abruptly.
Their are spectacular views across to the McDowell’s as you follow the Salt River (dry). It’s all desert landscape from this point to the Salt River Dam.
You may see wild horses.
It’s gently downhill as you head back along the canal to the Park of the Canals.
It’s worth wandering around the small Brinton Botanical Garden-good place to stretch your legs and rehydrate.

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