Several years ago while Jim was in rehab at the tony Hacienda at the River for a bit, I decided to get back to my routine of walking in the early morning. It was still quite cool in the morning when I stepped out onto The Loop between Campbell and Country Club in the dawn light. Since then, we have found this portion of the Loop to be the most interesting to us, me being on foot and Jim riding Zippy, his scooter. The round trip is about 3 miles and has an abundance of public art along the way to spruce up the walk. Most people go zipping by on bikes and do not appreciate the finer points of this walk, although we see more hikers on this part than other parts.
The pandemic has put a damper on our explorations in other regards but over the past year and a half, we have seen much of The Loop. Most of it is pretty boring from a visual aspect. Well, unless the river is flowing and then that can be pretty exciting. For those of you that are unaware of the loop, it is a 135 mile "Loop" paved trail that wanders throughout Tucson and parts of Marana. Officially, it is called the Chuck Huckleberry Loop.
This walk, my favorite so far, stretches from Campbell and River where you can park on one side or the other. It is near St. Philip's Plaza where you can get a bite to eat or drink after your walk at any one of several decent restaurants, UNION Public House, Reforma Cocina and Cantina, Sazerac Creole Kitchen and Cocktails or have a glass of wine at Flying Leap Vineyards Tasting Room. Some of these eating establishments have outdoor seating.
You can also start at Brandi Fenton Park, head west for a short while to the bridge where you can start the 3-mile circuit. On the south side of the bridge is the Racquet Club.
Near here you may encounter horses as there are several equestrian stables in the area. Green Things Nursery is also on this stretch.
In the summer months, you can time your walk to coordinate with the sunset and the flight of the bats from under the Campbell Street Bridge on the north side of the loop. There are also bats roosting in the summer month below the Broadway bridge at Pantano Wash.
Before you go, download a PDF copy of the art locations along the Loop. This part of the loop is called the Rillito River Park. There are more works of public art on this part of the loop than any of the others, by count 26.
If you know of a scenic part of the Chuck Huckleberry Loop that Jim and I should check out, by all means, please email us here. We need to get out more!