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Arizona Canal System: providing irrigation and miles of multi-use pathways to the Valley

Ever wondered why there are canals in Scottsdale and the greater Phoenix area?  The Arizona Canal System consists of nine canals, which were built over two years, starting in 1883. They were designed to bring irrigation to crops (cotton, alfalfa, citrus, and dates) that existed throughout the Valley at that time.  The crops have long been replaced by housing, but residential neighborhoods along the canal still use the canal’s water for irrigation of their yards.

Our canal systems actually go back even further than that, to the area’s first residents, the Hohokam Indians who brought water to the Valley.
It’s hard to fathom this Arizona heritage when you are strolling along the Scottsdale Waterfront listening to outdoor bands and the banter of people dining in the canal front restaurants.
The Scottsdale Waterfront Project, a 1.1 million square foot project incorporated shopping, dining and residential living and was aimed at revitalizing the area along the Arizona Canal just west of Scottsdale Road. And if you haven’t visited this fait accompli, you are in for a treat!
But there are five other shopping malls, some of affluence, (Borgata, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Biltmore Fashion Park, Metrocenter Mall and Arrowhead Towne Center) that reside along the canal’s route.
The system begins at Granite Reef dam, northeast of Mesa, it flows west across the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, through downtown Scottsdale, Phoenix’s Arcadia and Sunnyslope neighborhoods, Glendale, and Peoria before ending at New River near Arrowhead Towne Center.
The hard packed clay and asphalt multi-use paths that run along the canals are popular for walking, running, and biking. (In the past, they have even reportedly been used for water skiing!) Whether you are a fitness buff or just out for a walk with the dog, you have 50 miles of shimmering backdrop to enjoy for your outing.
Maps are available at Maricopa Association of Governments 302 N. 1st Avenue, Suite 300 Phoenix, AZ 85003 – 602-254-6300.
Looking for Arizona golf homes for sale?  Contact me at 602-694-3200 or fill out the contact form below to get your search started.
Don Matheson
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
[email protected]
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