Coronado National Forest officials are set to begin work soon on trails in Madera Canyon.
The Proctor and Whitehouse nature trails in the canyon will be closed for about two weeks at a time, with the first closures starting next week.
Work will be done on one trail at a time, and closures will be posted at the trailheads. The work is meant to extend the life of the trails and increase safety for visitors, says Heidi Schewel, a spokeswoman for the forest.
“They’re going to be applying an asphalt seal coat to both of those trails. Before they do that they’ll be sealing cracks and patching potholes," she says.
The Whitehouse trail restroom will be more accessible to all users after the work, she says.
“Madera Canyon is quite a bit cooler than here in Tucson, so they get activity throughout the year," she says, so hikers should look for closure signs.
The work must be planned around the animals in the canyon, which is in the Santa Rita Mountains, east of Green Valley.
“There are certain times where species could be breeding or nesting that are particularly sensitive. And if they’re endangered or threatened species, there are regulations we have that prohibit us from doing work within a certain distance of their location," Schewel says.
The project to improve two trails in Madera Canyon is paid for in part by the Friends of Madera Canyon, along with recreation fees from Coronado National Forest. The improvements will cost $50,000 and should be complete by the end of August.