[From left) Tomas Jonnson, German Quiroga and Zay Hartigan celebrate the opening of the new section of the Train Track Trail in Patagonia. Photo by Robert Gay

In 2007, Betsy McGee and Cornelia O’Connor decided to pursue a Rails-To-Trails conversion of the old rail bed between Patagonia and Sonoita.

With strong support from the County, the Town of Patagonia, and a number of agencies and organizations, a core group of dedicated volunteers set about creating partnerships with the three necessary owners of the railbed, the Nature Conservancy, Native Seeds SEARCH, and the Town of Patagonia, to build a 2.5 mile loop trail to the town limit. This was completed in 2010. Local school kids named it the Train Track Trail. 

It took another 11 years to get the next 3.25 miles built, made possible when South 32 purchased crucial properties and allowed the trail to cross them. This new section connects the town of Patagonia to the new alignment of the Arizona National Scenic Trail at Casa Blanca Canyon. A small COVID-cautious opening ceremony was held on April 22.