TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Fresh white paint is laid in the parking lot and navigation signs are up and ready. Those are the final touches the Pima County Parks and Recreation Department needed to put on the newly remodeled and reopened Enchanted Hills Trailhead.
"This spot has been an important area for people in the community for a long time," said visitor, Morgan Apicella.
The area is formerly known as the 36th Street Trailhead, which is located in the eastern foothills of Tucson Mountain Park. It is a piece of rugged, Sonoran Desert and was bought by Pima County a few years back.
"This land has been classically trashed over the years. There are a lot of roads. There has been dumping over the years," said Pima County Trails Program Coordinator, Neil Stitzer.
The county parks department is starting with a clean slate. Additional parking, security cameras and decades of old trash and graffiti have been cleared. Seven miles of new trails were paved partly by hand, thanks to dozens of volunteers and county staff.
"Before we started trail construction there were two miles of user-created trails. Nothing official. Over the years, people have used this land for recreation," said Stitzer.
Most parts of the Enchanted Hills Trails Park are now blocked off to motor vehicles. Pima County wants the park to stay as clean and undisturbed as possible.
Outdoor enthusiasts, like Morgan Apicella, are reaping the benefits.
"One of the things that makes Pima County, and Tucson in particular, a great place to live is the access to beautiful natural areas that we have out here. I think making it nice for all trail users is a good thing," said Apicella.