Western Canal Path

Arizona

Western Canal Path Facts

States: Arizona
Counties: Maricopa
Length: 21.9 miles
Trail end points: W. Carver Rd. and S. 35th St. (Phoenix) and Consolidated Canal Path (Gilbert)
Trail surfaces: Concrete, Gravel
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6463789
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Western Canal Path Description

The Western Canal Path, one of several trails adjacent to canals in the Phoenix metropolitan area, connects the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert on its more than 20 mile, east–west route. The useful trail provides both an active transportation and recreation resource to nearby residents.

The trail has a smooth concrete surface through Tempe and where it follows the Chandler/Mesa border. For most of its route, the concrete trail is paralleled by a gravel-surfaced trail more popular with dog walkers, joggers and hikers on the opposite side of the canal. In Gilbert, the surface varies between crushed stone and concrete, while the surface on the western end in Phoenix consists completely of unimproved gravel.

Several parks and trail connections increase the utility of the Western Canal Path. At its midpoint, the trail connects to the Kyrene Canal Path; take that route to head farther south into Chandler. From the trail's eastern end in Gilbert, the Consolidated Canal Path extends north into Mesa and south into Chandler.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at several parks along the Western Canal Path's route:

In Gilbert, park at McQueen Park (510 N. Horne Street), which also offers restrooms, drinking fountains and playing fields.

In Mesa, parking is available at Palo Verde Park (3135 S. Dobson Road) and Carriage Lane Park (3140 S. Carriage Lane).

In Tempe, you can find parking at scenic Kiwanis Park (near the intersection of Mill Avenue and All America Way), which also offers athletic fields, picnic areas, restrooms, a recreation center and a lake at its center.

Western Canal Path Reviews

As a Roadbiker, This has the potential to be a great ride however the break in the paved trail at I-10 & US60 will shutdown anyone traveling on a Roadbike.. There are no signs or any indication you can pickup the paved trail somewhere on the other side of the Freeway. It doesn't make any sense why they wouldn't just pave the 1/4mile dirt section? Of course it may be longer than that but its a guess from the trail maps I have seen.
Same with the Gap on the East end of the Trail in Gilbert. At least put a sign up to show you can ride down the street a hundred yards or two to catch the continuing trail to the East.

This is my first review for Trail link. I rate the Western Canal trail as exceptional for technical quality, but below average for visual interest or creature comforts, such as potable water or restrooms. I also have to ‘ding’ it one star for the abrupt drop-off from the roadway to rocks or dirt, and then a sharp decline into the canal. If a rider drifts off the roadway, they may have a wreck. The trail is extremely well lit by solar powered lights. A rider does not need headlights after dark to clearly see the roadway and any potential obstacles or debris on the roadway. The trail follows the SRP Western Canal, with one side graveled and usually used by joggers, hikers or dog walkers. The paved side is dominated by cyclists. The graveled portion goes quite some distance east, but the paved portion begins at McQueen road, and runs along the canal to Baseline road, where it follows Baseline for a distance before trailing back to the canal. From McQueen, the trail has a very slight, almost imperceptible descent to Alma School road, where it stays virtually flat until Hwy 101, then drops off maybe twenty feet to the west of Hwy 101. For the most part, it can be considered ‘flat’ riding. There are traffic signal controls at all major roads. The placement of the call button for the signal is inconsistent and not always convenient. Not a major issue, but worth noting. There is a rest area just east of McClintock, but no water or restrooms. The area is pleasant and allows for a break out of the traffic flow during peak use periods. There is a similar but larger rest area just South of Baseline at the Kiwanis Community Park. This rest area connects to the park which has some creature comforts such as drinking water and restrooms. The most interesting part of the trail is where it combines with the Ken McDonald Golf course south of Guadalupe road. Cyclists have to mingle with a golf carts at a few intersections, but there is golf ball netting over the trail for quite some distance, keeping you safe from an errant slice or hook. This is a visually interesting segment. I have not ridden the section of trail from Baseline to I-10. The trail is not as isolated from traffic along that section, and runs along Baseline farther than I like. There is one intersection with an unnamed (and unmarked) trail at the Ken McDonald golf course. That trail runs southwest for a few miles until Kyrene at Warren. It also has golf ball netting for the sections where it runs beside the golf course. All in all, a nice section of trail that is good for lower level physical conditioning, with limited visual interest. The isolation from auto traffic makes this a great ride. I’d rate this five stars, but the abrupt drop-off to rocks and dirt take away one star, and the lack of potable water or rest rooms takes off another star.

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