Trail News

January 19, 2022

The Paso del Norte Trail is a community-driven, collaborative effort started by the Health Foundation to develop a 68-mile county-wide trail in El Paso County. The goal is to create a regionally significant landmark that promotes active transportation, preserves the history and culture of our region, highlights the Rio Grande River, supports economic development and ecotourism, provides educational and volunteer opportunities, and makes healthy living the easy choice for our unique, binational community.

Learn about some of the progress that is taking place.

  • The City of El Paso has begun construction on two sections of the Playa Drain Trail, totaling 1.5 miles, from Knights Drive to Yarborough and Whittier to Elvin. Once both sections are complete in 2022, there will be nearly 2.5 miles of shared use path between Knights and Elvin. All 8.3 miles of the Playa Drain Trail are expected to be constructed by 2024. Click Here to view a map on the status of the various trail segments.

  • El Paso City Council will discuss an Advance Funding Agreement between the City of El Paso and TxDOT on February 1st to begin design of a 0.67-mile shared use path along Magoffin Avenue between San Antonio and Cotton. This will be the first newly developed segment within the Advisory Committee’s designated priority development area between UTEP and the MCA. The segment is expected to begin construction in 2023.

  • The Ysleta Middle School Safe Routes to School project design is currently 90% complete and will add 0.70 miles to the Playa Drain Trail, including 0.15 miles of bike lanes along Elvin and 0.55 miles of shared use path along the Playa Lateral Canal.

  • Trail consultants, Quantum Engineering, and the County of El Paso have submitted a full proposal for a $21.9M grant request to the Economic Development Administration’s American Rescue Plan. The request is for the design and construction of a 12.5-mile Mission Trail Spur connecting the historic missions in Ysleta and San Elizario. Click Here to view the design and construction of the Mission Trail Spur connection.

  • The Paso del Norte Trail Foundation and Eco El Paso implemented a Safe Routes to Parks project funded by the Safe Routes Partnership. Eco El Paso planted 40 trees and demonstrated traffic calming measures in neighborhoods surrounding the Playa Drain Trail. They convened neighborhood events and asked about barriers accessing parks. Traffic calming measures, intersection safety improvements, and increased shade and tree canopies were identified as goals for an El Paso Safe Routes to Parks Plan for future trail developments.

For more information about trail related activities, visit, or follow the Paso del Norte Trail on Facebook or Instagram.

PDNHF Initiative: Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is associated with positive health outcomes across the lifespan. In addition to decreasing people’s risk of chronic disease, physical activity improves cognitive function in youth, reduces anxiety and depression, and improves sleep. Despite these benefits, many do not engage in the recommended amount of daily physical activity. The Health Foundation’s stake in physical activity began in the early 2000’s with Walk El Paso. More recently, the Health Foundation constructed the Playa Drain Trail demonstration project and has partnered with regional stakeholders for the development of the Paso del Norte Trail network. Other areas of emphasis include the promotion of physical activity through educational programs, campaigns, and trail and park use.

2021 Paso del Norte Trail Report

Paso del Norte Trail Alignment

View Strategy Brief (English)

View Strategy Brief (Español)

Foundation Staff: Jana Renner

Additional Links

Physical Activity

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