One May day, Ms. Karen & I met up with Ms. Rosemary at Feliz Paseos Park on the west side of town near Gates Pass. We had passed by this park for many years on the way to the Desert Museum on the other side of Gates Pass, but never visited. Now that I have physical disabilities, Ms. Karen was especially interested in seeing what this park was all about. Even better that it allows dogs, on leash, of course. We left our dog at home this time, to check it out, anticipating increased use for Memorial Day. We saw 2 other people.
Feliz Paseos Park bills itself as “Universally Accessible” meaning it focuses on people with special needs but is accessible to everyone. Well-groomed trails wind their way around the 57-acre parcel. Two tenths of a mile is paved and enhanced with interpretive signs. The parking lot has plenty of handicap spaces and two ADA accessible restrooms. All the paths are accessible by wheelchair or electric scooter, some more challenging than others. A well-marked system of Trail Access Symbols informs people about the different levels of looping trails throughout the park.
The park is intended for use by everyone, regardless of ability. The citizens’ advisory committee that helped to create this park had representatives who are both able-bodied, as well as people in wheelchairs or with sight and hearing impairments. Feliz Paseos means “happy walk”. It has drinking fountains at the various ramadas. There are no picnic tables.
Ms. Karen brought my red electric scooter, Zippy, so I could navigate the paved portion of the park while she and Rosemary hiked various other dirt trails. The paved path is lined with interpretive signs about the flora and fauna of this region. The paved path is short and I got around it in no time, so took a second spin, this time photographing the scenery and signage. When I was done, I met up with Karen and Rosemary and they convinced me to join them on a more adventurous route. The going was a bit rough but I made it around on a couple of dirt trails and we ended up back at the parking lot. On the way we passed a number of houses near the park with a bit of road noise from Camino d’Oeste.
The next weekend, Ms. Karen & I decided to take our three-legged mutt, Dozer, to the park for a romp. Only this time she had forgotten to bring the battery for my scooter so I had to walk the paved path using my trusty walker. Dozer seemed to enjoy his walk, particularly since he could brush up against a low hanging bush and scratch himself.
We recommend Feliz Paseos Park to anyone, but particularly those with disabilities.
1600 North Camino de Oeste
(1/2 mile north of Speedway/Gates Pass Road)
Tucson, AZ 85745