Trail expansion map

The map shows the area where the land will be exchanged in order to allow Save Buena Vista Foundation to expand the Buena Vista Trail, as well as connect it to Los Caballos Trails and the Chihuahua Pines Trail Corridor.

SHOW LOW — Community Services Coordinator Jay Brimhall updated the Show Low City Council last week regarding an expansion of the White Mountain Trail System.

The popular and well-traveled Buena Vista Trail has a trailhead and parking area just south of the Summer Pines neighborhood, south of Show Low and just off highway U.S. Highway 60. Buena Vista is just one in more than 200 miles of maintained trails in the local system.

The Save the Buena Vista Foundation (SBVF) approached the city of Show Low about partnering to provide more connecting trails and other improvements along the Buena Vista trail in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.

There is a land exchange in process that supports further development of the White Mountain Trail system. In January of 2008, Show Low Land Exchange LLC, identified Sections 31 and 32 for a land exchange that is ongoing, so the recognized trail in this area will be relocated to Forest Service property.

SBVF proposed adding 18 miles of new trails to the Buena Vista Trail and the Chihuahua Pines Trail Corridor. 11 miles of the existing “social trails” will be substantially improved for public use.

This work will also connect the Buena Vista Trail to Los Caballos Trails to the north. (Los Caballos are accessed from a point off Joe Tank Road, west of State Route 260.)

The council voted unanimously in favor of allowing SBVD to expand the trails and connecting routes. TRACKS, the regional volunteer group authorized by the U.S. Forest Service to build and maintain the non-motorized White Mountain Trail system will provide signage for the new trails.

“These non-motorized trails are high-quality and they have positive impacts on economic development through the support of new tourism and the recreational benefits for local residents,” said Brimhall.

The White Mountain Trail System is one of the most extensive in the Southwestern U.S.

For more information about the White Mountains Trail System, including maps, visit www.trackswhitemountains.org.

Laura Singleton is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering Show Low city government, business and education.

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