Murphy's Bridle Path along North Central Avenue

Posted by Artur Ciesielski on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 at 2:55pm.

North Central Phoenix historic gravel and tree lined path.
Murphy's Bridle Path on the usual morning or weekend is full of joggers, bike riders and the occasional stroller. The attraction to this dirt path is obvious. Homes all along the path are beautiful with huge lots and often mesmerizing architecture. All this is lined with large mature ash trees on both sides. Its gravel but its manicured gravel and it will stay this way.

The Bridle Path begins at Bethany Home and Central Ave. Its a gravel trail on the east side of Central Ave extends just north of Northern Ave. just under 3 miles.

"The Path was named after Murphy Bridle, Murphy was a man who made his vast fortune through his invention of the sixty-four ounce Styrofoam cup.", states Jeff Cardello (hoozdo mag. issue 4)

That's a bit of fun, but here is...

The Real Story

Murphy's Bridle Path was named after, W. J. Murphy, one of the pioneers in the development of Greater Phoenix, "Between 1885 and 1920, W. J. Murphy, Moses Sherman, Dwight Heard, and Benjamin Fowler used their connections to outside investors and federal politicians to advance the small city's promise and to individually profit from its growth."

"W. J. Murphy and his family purchased several tracts of land under the Arizona Canal and started an experimental citrus orchard with over 1,800 young orange and other fruit trees from southern California. The trees proved so successful other varieties were planted including olive and lemon. Because the Arizona fruit ripened prior to the orchards in Southern California, Arizona landowners could sell their produce to the eastern markets first. By the mid-1890s over 150,000 citrus trees were growing on 1,500 acres and farmers learned they could grow the trees with less acreage and work than the traditional harvests of grain."(unknown source)

Here is a photo of the sign:

Murphy's Bridle Path

The Murphy Bridle Path, the beautiful trees, the irrigation lateral along the west side and other specifics are all now designated as historic by the Phoenix Historic Preservation Office.

The right of way is owned by the city and this historic designation means that at least the east side of Central Ave. will never be paved and the irrigation lateral cannot be blocked and the ash trees which line and shade the path and road are protected as well.

Written by: Artur Ciesielski | tel. 602.492.8004 | e-mail:

Artur is a Realtor and partner with inPhoenix Realty Group of HomeSmart Elite Group and Absolute Exhilaration and an aspiring flaneur. View my personal site for other writings and photos: The Rational Flaneur.

Currently he's in Phoenix or elsewhere when time allows, which is rarely, but that is going to change. You can find him running up miles on his car listening to NPR, cycling the urban Phoenix, in the office on Central or working at one of the many coffee bars in Urban Phoenix.

1 Response to "Murphy's Bridle Path along North Central Avenue"

Leonardo wrote:
Less dramatic declines occurred in Salem with 47 percent and Danvers at 54 percent.
September 30, 2011 is NOT far away especially since we see most
of our buyers entering into 30 contracts.
With that in mind, I certainly experience that 2012 will essentially bring an adjust of frame of mind
and perception for the housing market place.

Posted on Saturday, January 12th, 2013 at 8:03pm.

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