It's Time to Take a Hike<br><i>National Trails Day becomes an entire season in Arizona</i>

Staff photo by Eric Lusk

THE American Hiking Society uses National Trails Day events to encourage outdoors recreation

Because Arizona is usually cooking by that time of the year, while much of the rest of the country is just thawing out, state trails leaders have decided instead this year to sponsor National Trails Day Season, which will run from April up through the actual National Trails Day on June 5.

This year’s theme is “Trails and Health … A Natural Connection.”

Last year, Arizona hosted more than 40 events across the state that ranged from hiking the Grand Canyon to building new trails, bike rides, interpretive walks and educational programs. Two local National Trails Day events have already been scheduled for this year:

SATURDAY, APRIL 24: Two new Bell Trailheads will be dedicated in the Rimrock area, as organized by the Trail Resource Access Coalition and Friend of the Forest.

One of the trails is for equestrians and one is for hikers and mountain bikers. The trailheads were built to replace the old but popular Bell Trailhead located close to the Old Beaver Creek Ranger Station near Rimrock.

The dedication begins at 9 a.m. and will include hikes and rides up Beaver Creek including the Bell and Apache Maid Trails. Participants are also invited to perform some trail and trailhead maintenance. There also will be a drawing for “trail goodies.” Food and drinks will be provided.

For more information, contact Bill Stafford at wstafford@fs.fed.us or call (928) 203-7529. No pre-registration is required.

SATURDAY, MAY 1: The Dead Horse Ranch Trails Coalition and Verde River Greenway will sponsor a Lime Kiln Trail work and appreciation day from 8 a.m. until noon.

The day will begin with a bike ride, equestrian ride and hike to work sites along the trail. Maintenance will be to repair trail tread and protect endangered plants along the trail.

Tools and some water will be provided for participants as well as a Dutch oven brunch at the end. A guided walk along park trails will be provided if there are enough requests for it..

For more information, send e-mail to mcastillo@pr.state.az.us or call 639-0312. No pre-registration is required.

The American Hiking Society (AHS), the national organizer of National Trails Day, offers a Web site filled with resources on National Trails Day and NTD events. Visit http://www.americanhiking.org

For information about Arizona State Parks or National Trails "Season" in Arizona visit http://www.azstateparks.com or call the State Parks at (800) 285-3703.

Arizona State Parks’ mission is managing and conserving Arizona's natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in the state’s parks and through partnerships.

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