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2021 Year-End Review

Here's to a New Year! 


Thank you for your continued support of the Paso del Norte Trail. We are excited to share an overview of our 2021 successes below. Together, we made a lot of progress in 2021 and we have much to look forward to in 2022! 


2021 Successes:

  • Engagement & Outreach  

    • We hosted more than 20 official events last year including walking tours, bike rides, street audits, tree planting events, popup demonstrations, and cleanups. 

    • 141 volunteers provided nearly 300 hours of donated time from organizations including Live Active El Paso, Rotary Club of El Paso, Eco El Paso, American Heart Association, Medical Center of the Americas, Texas Tech University, El Paso Electric, and Walmart.

    • Trail volunteers planted 115 trees in 2021, offsetting1,415 pounds of CO2 in 2021 and 5,520 pounds of CO2 per year upon maturity.

    • On March 27th we hosted the inaugural trail ride, biking over 65 miles from Tornillo to Anthony along the planned alignment of the Paso del Norte Trail.

    • Our social media following continues to grow, adding 283 new Facebook likes and 300 new Instagram followers, and reaching 41,840 people!

  • Trail Planning 

    • Our partners at National Park Service, Medical Center of the Americas, and TxDOT conducted engagement, outreach, and planning sessions for the Paso del Norte Trail segment along the Franklin Canal from the El Paso Zoo to Clark Drive. This segment received formal support from Representative Veronica Escobar and coordination is ongoing with El Paso Water Improvement District No. 1.

    • The City of Sunland Park Trails Master Plan was adopted in July 2021. The 34-mile Paseo del Sol Trail will span across the City of Sunland Park and overlaps with multiple segments of the Paso del Norte Trail’s main alignment, spurs, and loops.

  • Trail Counters 

    • Our partners at TxDOT and Texas Transportation Institute provided temporary trail counters, giving us our first insight into actual usage data along the Playa Drain Trail segment. The counters were active between October 8th and October 28th.

    • The Playa Drain Trailhead at Ascarate Park was the busiest location, registering 1,587 users total with an average of 84 users per day.

    • Check out the full Trail Counter Report for a detailed analysis of usage trends.

  • Funding 

    • ​In 2021, we applied for more than $33.7 million of funding for trail programming, planning, design, and construction.

    • In October, the Texas Transportation Institute approved nearly $5.7 million in funding for 1.1 miles of shared use path along the Alamo Alto Drain in Fabens and 1.3 miles of shared use path along the Alameda Alto Drain in Tornillo.

    • We received a $12,500 grant to develop a Safe Routes to Parks Plan and implement an early action to promote safety.

    • We are still awaiting decisions on nearly $23 million in funding requests for 12.5 miles of shared use path between Ysleta and San Elizario.

  • Trail Development

    • El Paso County finished construction of the O T Smith Trail in Tornillo, completing the project under budget and allowing a further extension across the train tracks to Alameda Avenue.

    • The City of El Paso began construction of the 0.85-mile Playa Drain Trail segment from Knights Drive to Yarbrough Drive.

    • The City of El Paso resumed design for the La Union Combined Lateral Trail, a 1.15-mile shared use path that overlaps with the Paso del Norte Trail – Ellis Lateral Spur and connects directly to the 10.5-mile River Park Trail.

    • The City also resumed design on the River Park Trail – Country Club Extension, which will fill the 0.30-milemissing connection and directly connect more than 12 miles of trail along the Rio Grande River and Country Club Road.

    • A bicycle repair station and 4 shade structures were purchased using the generous Legacy Donation from Karin Carson and were delivered to El Paso County Parks and Recreation in December 2021. We expect these to be installed along the River Park Trail in early 2022.

  • Upcoming Development 

    • ​In addition to all of the exciting developments in 2021, we also established the framework to significantly expand and connect segments of the Paso del Norte Trail across the County. 

    • Funding has been allocated for more than 5.1 miles of trail between 2022 and 2025.

    • The entire 8.5-mile Playa Drain Trail is on track to be fully developed by 2024.

    • We are coordinating with the El Paso MPO and the City of El Paso to identify funding and prioritize development of the last remaining 0.3-mile segment of the Playa Drain Trail along Liberty Street. 

Thank you to our 2021 partners!


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Tails at the Trails event held in partnership with Live Active EP

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Volunteers planting trees along the Playa Drain Trail segment 

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Cyclists at an event held in partnership with the Rotary Club of El Paso

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Cyclists enjoy a ride along the trail

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