The Tortolita Preserve is in Phase 2 of its improvement project. The trail system is around 10 miles and is multi-use.

According to Marana Natural Resources Department Supervisor Jason Grodman, the trail brings around 300 people out on the weekends during the cooler months. Many of them take advantage of the 10-mile, multi-use trail, a great trail for mountain bikers.

“It’s gorgeous, it works great. It’s a great loop. It’s about the right amount of people,” cyclist Rich Lloyd said. “There’s people…but it’s not super crowded.”

Marana has been able to preserve every saguaro during the project.

“Part of the design of the parking lot included cutout islands for mature saguaros and some of the smaller ones that were going to be in the way in parts of the new parking lot,” Grodman said. “We were able to move (them) with the help of professional Saguaro savers.”

For Phase 2 of the project, the town will be adding fencing to keep the nearby cattle out and those cruising the trail safe.

“The preserve is 2,400 acres that is not completely fenced in,” Grodman said. “So, we are completing that with wildlife friendly fencing, which will create the boundary of the preserve; it will keep livestock on their side of the preserve and also let motorized and off-road vehicle users know where they can and cannot recreate.”

The improvement project is projected to be completed by the end of this year.