Where Mill Ave crosses the Salt river is a cool man made urban lake, called Tempe Town Lake. The park has paved trail around the entire lake so its a great place for a nice walk, run, roller blade or a bike ride. Tempe Town Lake has Pedestrian friendly bridges so you can run, walk or ride for a couple of miles without having to worry about crossing traffic filled roads.
You can walk from Rural Road to Priest, cross the bridge on Priest and walk all the way back to Rural Road without ever having to stop for a car, or a red light.
Tempe Town Lake is a popular spot for events like marathons, Dragon boat races, bike races and the Ironman Arizona, while the rest of the country is in the middle of cold winter it is sunny and warm in Tempe. Tempe Town Lake is stocked with rainbow trout on a monthly basis from November to February. Other species found in the lake naturally include largemouth bass, yellow bass, tilapia, carp, channel catfish and bluegill. An Arizona fishing license is required to fish in the lake. Tempe Town Lake is a great place to paddle around without having to drive very far, so you can dust off the kayak, get your arms sore and be back in time to go to work.
In 1999 the dry river bed was transformed into a dammed artificial lake. Tempe Town Lake was a key success to the revitalization of Downtown Tempe. Formerly just a crossing over the (usually) dry river, these bridges became a centerpiece of the new lake. Some annual events at Tempe Beach Park include the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl New Year’s Eve Block Party, Circle K Tempe Music Festival, Oktoberfest, APS Fantasy of Lights, and the 4th of July fireworks show.
I love rollerblading in the mornings around the lake and taking strolls in the evening especially in the fall.
A tale of two bridges, at Tempe Town Lake you will find two Mill Avenue bridges. The older of the two has been around since the 30’s and withstood some 500 year flood 2 or 3 years in a row in the early 80’s. In the 90’s a second bridge was built in order two allow traffic to flow quicker in both directions. So now you know why their are two Mill Avenue bridges.