Mariposa Trail is worth drive to Oracle, AZ

[Source: Doug Kreutz, Arizona Daily Star] — Golden winter grasses carpet gently rolling hills and hidden hollows along the Mariposa Trail at Oracle State Park.  A trek on the trail is kind of like slipping into the park through the back door.  Beginning at its own trailhead northwest of the park’s main trail system and the historic Kannally Ranch House, the 1.2-mile route offers a “walk-in” alternative to driving into the park.

The Mariposa Trail dips into a hollow near the starting point and then climbs gradually to a grassy hilltop affording good views of the Catalina Mountains to the south and the rugged Galiuro range to the east.  It works its way down another hillside and then meanders southeastward to connect with a network of trails and the park’s main entrance road.  Hikers coming in on the Mariposa might choose to visit the ranch house or link with other trails for a longer hike.  By connecting with the Granite Overlook Trail Loop, the Windy Ridge Trail Loop or the Nature Trail Loop, it’s possible to fashion a round-trip trek of several miles.  [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

Santa Cruz County gets $85,503 for Rio Rico soccer complex

[Source: Nogales International, Kathleen Vandervoet] – – Santa Cruz County was recently awarded $85,503 for the Robert Damon Recreational Complex Soccer Field. The Arizona State Parks Board on Sept. 19 announced awards of more than $41 million in grants from the Arizona Heritage Fund, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the Recreational Trails Grant Fund Program, and the Land Conservation Fund.

The Heritage Fund, created in November 1990, provides up to $10 million annually from Arizona Lottery proceeds. A press release said there are three competitive grant programs offered annually from the Heritage Fund to provide opportunities for the public to enjoy parks and outdoor recreation, and to help preserve natural and cultural resources: Local, Regional and State Parks (LRSP), Historic Preservation, and Trails. The State Parks Board approved a total of $542,293 to six Historic Preservation Heritage Fund grant applicants. [Note: to read the full article click here.]

October is Arizona Trail Month

Governor Janet Napolitano recently proclaimed October as Arizona Trail Month.  While any month is a good time to be on a section of the 807-mile Arizona Trail, throughout the month of October the Arizona Trail Association volunteers are offering a long list of “Treasure Our Trail” hikes and rides plus informative talks across the state.  Arizona residents and visitors are encouraged to learn about the path that stretches across the state, and to go out and enjoy it, and also raise funds for the trail.  For all the trek details and registration, visit or call 602-252-4794.

Take the Arizona Trail Users Survey

This study is part of an effort to develop plans for the State Trails Program and the Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Program.  The survey is being conducted among parks and trails enthusiasts and organization representatives to ask for input into the trail planning process.  This list was developed by the Arizona State Parks Board and Arizona State University.

Your participation in this survey is very important.  Your answers will help set priorities for trail management in Arizona, and help determine how a portion of the Heritage Fund and the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Fund should be spent.  The Heritage Fund comes from Lottery revenues and the OHV Fund comes from gasoline tax dollars.  Some of these funds go directly to provide recreational trail opportunities and facilities for all Arizona residents and visitors.

The survey will take approximately 15 – 20 minutes to complete.  Your answers to this survey are completely confidential.  Your name will not be connected to your answers in any way.  Your participation in this survey is voluntary; however, you can help us very much by taking a few minutes to share your opinions.  To take the survey, click here.