Arizona’s Ore Cart Trail


A Scenic Route of Art, Nature and Mining History


A ‘Love Your Parks Tour’ Public Art Story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by contemporary figurative artist Victoria Chick.

When on the road, if there’s a park, landmark, sculpture or roadside attraction, we tend to pull over.

It was early winter and we were traveling up Arizona Highway 77 from Tucson to Globe, when the Mammoth Miners Memorial (pictured above) caught our attention. We soon found out that we were on the Ore Cart Trail, a public art and local information initiative created over 10 years ago by the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition. The purpose of the trail is to boost tourism along Arizona’s Copper Corridor of small mining towns, by creating a scenic alternative route between Tucson and Phoenix.

We saw the first Ore Cart sculpture commissioned for the trail at Mammoth Miners Memorial. The life-size “Skeleton Crew Graveyard Shift” sculpture was by former mine worker and Oracle sculptor, Jerry Parra. The sculptures, monuments and relics in this small park all honor the miners who lost their lives during the decades of copper mine operations in San Manuel, St. Anthony and Tiger. There are also interpretive signs sharing the mining history of the region.

Further on up the road in Winkleman, we stopped to see the second commissioned Ore Cart sculpture. In a nod to the area’s rich copper mining heritage, this one by artist Nancy Dunst is called “A Penny For Your Thoughts.” Next to it is “Adobe” which was inspired by the river and sculpted in a free-form with the use of natural resources, all hand mixed by local artist Thomas Ray Sims.

This region is scenic with mountain ranges, saguaro cactus, and the San Pedro and Gila Rivers. Along with other historic sites and attractions, there’s also Tonto National Monument and Roosevelt Lake near Globe, and Boyce Arboretum State Park near Superior, to explore.

Cow Trail Art Studio - Silver City, NM


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