Norris Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Mesa, Arizona, Desert Trail Bike Park

Desert Trails Bike Park Wins ASLA Honor Award

March 30, 2015

Norris Design's Phoenix office took home the Honor Award for the Desert Trails Bike Park at the 2015 Arizona ASLA Gala.


Team members from Norris Design's Phoenix office, from left to right: Joel Thomas, Christian Sobecki, Greg Rowan and Kaylynn Primerano.

The event was held at the Phoenix Art museum. Over 40 entries were judged by the New Mexico Chapter with 12 awards presented to Students and Professionals.

Project Details:
Surrounded by residential and commercial development in Mesa, Arizona, the Desert Trails Park is a one-of-a-kind park in the community. The 40 acre city-owned property is home to a 5 acre municipal water facility, native desert vegetation, and 91 feet of natural change in elevation. For years a majority of the property sat unused and the site became an unofficial dumping ground for garbage. With bond funding from the City of Mesa and voluntary community clean-up crews, the derelict property was transformed into a unique park that is utilized by all ages and skill levels. The intent of this community park is to provide active recreation to support the growing demand for mountain biking and hiking, all while maintaining the daily operations of the municipal water facility. Desert Trails Park serves the community as the only urban mountain bike park in the metro area. Respecting the native vegetation and drainage ways, the trails were designed to weave through the existing vegetation, and utilize the natural topography minimizing the need for excessive grading. Many custom details were thoughtfully developed resulting in minimal impact to the site. The outcome not only enhances the user’s experience with nature, but also creates a vibrant and challenging course. The signage, restroom and shade structures are designed to create an organic aesthetic and blend with the surrounding desert landscape.



"This park is designed for riders of all experience. It contains a three quarter mile perimeter trail for those people that just want to hike, walk the dogs, push a stroller through or even bring a starter bike out," Mark Heirshberg of Mesa Parks said.


(Above: Norris Design's Phoenix Office staff at the grand opening. From left: Greg Rowan, Kaylynn Primerano, Joel Thomas, Doug Craig, Juliana (from Marc Taylor Inc.), and Christian Sobecki) 




The three flow trails for downhill biking are:
Beginner Level (Green) - Runaway Train Trail
Intermediate Level (Blue) - Squirrel Catcher Trail
Expert Level (Black) - Double Trouble Trail





They also have more challenging trails for the pros.




(Above: Norris Design Phoenix's Greg Rowan hitting the trails at the new park.)


Congratulations to the Norris Design team!