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PEAVINE - NATIONAL RECREATION TRAIL

The former railroad was known as the Santa Fe, Prescott, and Phoenix Railway.  It was also known as the “Peavine” because its twisting curves resembled that of a pea vine.  The railroad was the vision of Frank M. Murphy, a railroad entrepreneur responsible for many of Central Arizona’s railroads.  The Granite Dells section in particular, was constructed in 1893 by a crew of 500 workers, and a tremendous amount of blasting was required.  When completed, the entire the Santa Fe, Prescott, and Phoenix Railway was approximately 198 miles, contained 334 bridges (totaling 7 miles), and cost nearly $5 million to complete.  The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway later purchased the railroad.  This portion of the railroad operated until 1983 when floods damaged trestles north of Prescott.  It was officially abandoned in 1984.  Shortly thereafter, A & K Railroad Materials purchased it, and the railroad materials were removed.

In the 1980s, trail advocates began to realize the potential of converting the abandoned railroad to a non-motorized recreation trail.  After extensive planning and research, a grant was secured in the early 1990s to purchase and enhance the railroad right-of-way.  This funding was made possible through the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (through Arizona Department of Transportation and U.S. Federal Highway Administration).  National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program also provided funding for enhancements.

The trail opened on National Trails Day in June of 1999, and is open to all non-motorized trail users.  It traverses the scenic Granite Dells region.  Currently, 4.1 miles are available for public use, and connect to the four-mile Iron King Trail to Prescott Valley (i.e., formerly the Prescott and Eastern Railroad to Mayer).  Efforts are underway to connect the Peavine Trail to the Town of Chino Valley by purchasing the corridor from private landowners.  The City of Prescott is also very desirous to connect the Peavine Trail back into downtown Prescott, but various land jurisdictions are slowing progress. 

For more information, contact The City of Prescott –
Trails and Open Space Division, Parks, Recreation, and Library Department
at (928) 777-1560

Peavine Pictures

 

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