Telegraph Line Trail (FR42)

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Posts: 349
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:57 pm
First Name: Ben E
Location: North Phoenix
Affiliation: Tonto Recreation Alliance

Telegraph Line Trail (FR42)

Post by -Spike- » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:28 am

This is an iconic and historic ~10 mile trail that follows the track of a telegraph line that ran along the west side of Bartlett Lake to Horseshoe Dam many years ago. There is still evidence of that telegraph line today, with many stumps of the poles visible along the trail. The trail offers incredible views and some fun challenges for moderately built full-size vehicles.

Unfortunately this trail, along with many others in the area (FR512, FR1069, FR1104, FR1058, FR413 north of Bartlett Dam Road, and all connecting routes) is currently closed, and has been since 2005 due to damage from a couple of fires in the area.

TRAL has been working with the Forest Service for the past couple of years on a plan to re-open the Bart-St. Claire area. We have run all the trails that still exist, and especially in the case of FR42 we have done repairs and relocated the trail back to its original location. The Forest Service will likely re-open the entire area under a permit system, similar to the one currently used in the Bulldog area in the Goldfield Mountains east of Phoenix (FR10, FR3554, and connecting routes). This system has reduced the negative impact that irresponsible users have had on that area. There is no definitive timetable for opening the Bart/St. Claire area yet, but it could happen in the next year or so.

If you would like to be involved in the ongoing task of getting FR42 and other trails in the area ready to open, keep an eye on the Upcoming Events forum for the next TRAL work event in the area.

Contact Richard Lillard at for information about TRAL's Adopt a Trail (ADAT) program.
Contact me via PM or if you are interested in receiving training to inspect the trails in Tonto National Forest, offered through the ADAT program.

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