Pima County Trail Work

Mark was a trails program coordinator for Pima County from 2006 until May 2019. During that time he organized trail work events, developed a trail steward volunteer program and designed more than 150 miles of new trails and reroutes. He led construction crews and served as project manager for all trail construction. For machine builds, he operated a Sweco trail dozer and skid steer.

For two trail systems Mark, in consultation with world champion hand cycle athlete Greg Hockensmith, designed loops that can accommodate hand cycles. These were the first off-road trails designed for hand cycle riders in the United States.

Neil joined Pima County as a trails program coordinator in 2017, and continues the work of designing and building trails and reroutes, volunteer coordination, and public outreach. He has also done extensive rehabilitation, and has hundreds of hours operating a mini excavator for trail building and rehabbing disturbed areas.

Mark led the design process for the Arizona National Scenic Trail in Pima County from the Coronado National Forest boundary north to Saguaro National Park. He also assisted Saguaro National Park staff in laying out the Quilter Trail connection from Hope Camp. Mark organized and led volunteer projects in the construction of 35 miles of the trail between the Coronado National Forest and Saguaro National Park – a project that took seven years and required more than 100,000 hours of volunteer labor.

Trails designed by Mark as the lead designer include:

Pima County AZT

Tucson Mountain Park

Rock Wren

Little Cat


36th Street Trail

Shemwell Trail


Hidden Canyon

Howling Hermit (Not yet built)

Reroutes to David Yetman, Starr Pass, and Explorer Trails

Other Trails

Robles Pass

All Trails – 13.5 miles

Enchanted Hills

All trails – 6.9 miles

Maeveen Behan Desert Sanctuary (Arthur Pack Park)

All trails – 6.3 miles

Painted Hills

All Trails – 4 miles

McKenzie Ranch Competitive Course

All Trails – 10.4 miles

Hohokam Trail

When complete, this 35-mile trail will run east from the Arizona Trail near Rincon Creek to Kartchner Caverns State Park, where it will connect with Cochise County trails. Currently, a 3.2-mile section on McKenzie Ranch has been built.

Tortolita Regional Park

This is a planned regional park that is a joint project involving Pima and Pinal Counties and the towns of Oro Valley and Marana. Mark designed approximately 50 miles of trail in the proposed park area. Currently, two of those trails, Ridgeline and Loop, have been completed. Neil was crew lead for the Town of Marana on the Ridgeline Trail, and his crew also did significant improvements to other trails in the Tortolita Mountains. Neil and Mark also designed a trail that will provide a less technical connecting route to access the Ridgeline and Loop trails from the west side of the mountains.

Mark has been a part-time trails program coordinator for Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation (NRPR) since 2006. During that period he took the lead in numerous trail projects, including designing the Sweetwater and Robles Trails Parks, reroutes/new trails in Tucson Mountain Park, The McKenzie Ranch Mountain Bike Competitive Course, the Hohokam Trail (mostly conceptual).

Neil moved from the Town of Marana to Pima County, becoming a full-time trails program coordinator in October 2017. Since joining Pima County, Neil has played instrumental roles in all trail design and construction efforts.

For machine building projects, Mark operates the NRPR SWECO 480 trail dozer, and Neil operates a mini excavator. The move to mechanized trail construction in 2017 has greatly increased trail construction productivity, from five miles a year using volunteers to 15-20 miles.