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New River Trail at Rio Vista

I have wanted to check out this trail ever since seeing the bridge at Rio Vista Park years ago. But, I wanted to check it out without my kids, since I really wasn’t sure what it entailed! Was it really paved? For the longest time, my kids were in strollers too! So, to get the stroller to go to a park wasn’t the biggest thing for me. But, if you are looking for a stroller friendly adventure, this is perfect!

Here is the Map of the trails for your reference! There are TONS of paved trails. It is even longer than I had imagined! If the math is correct (let’s hope)I count about 29 miles of paved tails between Glendale, Sun City and Peoria!

The entrance to the New River Trail at Rio Vista is at the back end of the Rio Vista Community Park, past the Community Center.

On Google Maps, the New River Trailway is right across from Rio Vista Field Six. When you are there in person, it is right past the playground and on the back side of the bathrooms, which is very convenient! This bridge is the only bridge to get to the other side. However, there is a paved trail on the eastern side of New River as well, but it was not maintained as well. I highly suggest going on the New River Trail West.

I was quite excited that there was some water in the river! It wasn’t a raging river, but there was some water there. And, a few bugs. Meh! The bridge was a little steep going down for rollerblades so I held onto the rail. There wasn’t much area for turning at the end!

I took the path north (however, this is looking south on my way back, just to confuse things!). The ground here was asphalt from Thunderbird a small bridge at the Greenway Channel Trail.

This small bridge wasn’t steep! Phew.

Here the pavement was small blocks of concrete. It wasn’t hard to rollerblade on but wasn’t particularly fun either. There were some dips that were at end of streets (like Tumblewood Drive) that turned into washes to the river. So, if you are rollerblading or biking, just be aware of dips.

Different types of pavement! I was really happy when I got to Bell Rd and just passed Bell road (Arrowhead Honda area). There, the concrete was much more smooth. There also was an area for packed dirt if you chose to run on that instead. Near inclines and declines there were lines for passing. But otherwise, there weren’t lines. Near Bell Roads and Union Hills there were ramps to go up to the street or under the bridge.

bridge look

This bridge kind of scared me-I was a bit nervous of what I would find under the bridge (nothing, I’m happy to admit) and the decline. But, I made it safely down!

Tips of New River Trail

  • If you go it alone with kids, I found it to be very safe and highly trafficked. So, let your kids know there are many bicyclers that are going fast so they need to practice proper etiquette of the trail and stay to the right.
  • Remember that how far you go, you also have to go back!
  • Bring water-Camelbak’s or hydration packs are really helpful
  • Make sure you use the bathroom before you go!

You can also access the New River Trail From the Parking lot of Aqua Tots in Peoria

There is also an entrance on 83rd Avenue

CVS, and Chase Bank at Peoria and 99th Avenue

The Basics

New River Trail

  • New River Trail – 13.5 miles starting in Glendale at Bethany Home Road to Pinnacle Peak Rd.
  • Skunk Creek – 5.7 miles starting at Rio Vista Community Park to 51st Ave in Glendale

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