The Chuck Huckelberry Loop has earned the top spot in USA Today’s 2022 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Recreational Trail for the second year in a row.
The Loop was nominated by a panel of experts from USA TODAY, the 10Best.com, expert contributors and other media sources. It was ultimately crowned the winner thanks to members of the public who selected it as the Best Trail during a four-week online voting contest, which concluded Apr. 11.
“To see The Loop recognized on this national level is a true testament to the various county departments that have worked on its creation, maintenance and promotion,” said Pima County Attractions and Tourism Director Diane Frisch. “The Loop is already a major economic driver for tourism, and we believe this designation will bring even more visitors to our region.”
The other winners in the Best Recreational Trail category include:
- Katy Trail, Missouri
- Virginia Creeper Trail, Virginia and North Carolina
- Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System, South Carolina
- Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, Idaho
- Great Allegheny Passage, Maryland and Pennsylvania
- C&O Canal Towpath, Maryland and Washington, DC
- Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, Texas
- High Line Canal Trail, Colorado
- Colorado Riverfront Trail, Colorado
The Loop is a community amenity used by runners, walkers, cyclists, equestrians, and other groups who enjoy the car-free paths for leisurely outings or as their connection to work and play. But locals aren’t the only ones who use it. Over the past decade, The Loop has become a major visitor attraction that contributes to and strengthens our local economy.
“The Chuck Huckelberry Loop is an incredible asset for Tucson and the surrounding communities,” said Visit Tucson CEO Felipe Garcia. “We are honored to have it recognized as the top recreational trail in the country by USA Today readers – not just once, but two years in a row.”
Measuring more than 136 miles, The Loop is the longest public recreation, multi-use path in the United States. It’s a system of paved, shared-use paths and short segments of buffered bike lanes built on top of soil cement banks along metro waterways and connecting the Rillito, Santa Cruz, and Pantano River Parks with the Julian Wash and Harrison Road Greenways. Pima County’s Regional Flood Control District built it and the Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department maintains it. Other county departments, such as Transportation, Environmental Quality and Health, feature it in some of their programs.
“Former County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and I started the river path system in the early 1980’s,” said Pima County Regional Flood Control District Director Suzanne Shields. “I am thrilled that we were able to develop and complete The Loop, and it is amazing to see how beloved it is by those in our community.”