Sunday, January 21, 2018

Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race 2018

Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race 2018
Saturday January 20th was a drizzly, chilly day on the Maricopa Trail, but that didn't stop 300+ racers from participating in the 40-mile contest that ran from Spur Cross in Cave Creek to Lake Pleasant Regional Park. The sun peeked in-and-out of the clouds during the after party and during the highlight of the day: the third annual KID RACE hosted by Desert Foothills Mountain Bike Association.

More photos will follow, but here's a look at the kiddos in action.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Maricopa Trail Bronco-Granite Mountain Segment

Peaks of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in distance.
The segment is well-signed.
Looking for a quick and easy way to explore a scenic portion of the Maricopa Trail that runs through Tonto National Forest? Then, step out on the Bronco-Granite Mountain Segment. The 20+-mile segment runs from the Bronco Trailhead off Seven Springs Road north of Carefree to the Granite Mountain Trailhead in Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  Don't be intimidated by its long length and rugged terrain. The segment is bisected by Bartlett Dam Road which makes it easy to hike it as a car shuttle or separate day hikes.
Four Peaks on the western horizon.
Still kinda nervous about venturing out into one of the  trail's most remote locations? No problem---you can test your mettle on the more moderate southern half first. From Bartlett Dam Road, just hike south through spectacular Sonoran Desert with great vistas of surrounding mountain ranges and wilderness areas. It's just 3.4 miles one way to the preserve boundary where you can opt to continue on or return the way you came for a pleasant, easy day hike.
Rich desert scenery in Tonto National Forest

LENGTH: 6.8 miles roundtrip
RATING: easy
ELEVATION: 2845 – 3220 feet
Bartlett Dam Road Trailhead.
From Loop 101 in Scottsdale, take the Pima/Princess Drive exit 36 and go 13 miles north on Pima and turn right on Cave Creek Road.  Continue 4.1 miles to Bartlett Dam Road, turn right and go 0.4 mile to where a dirt road crosses at a “no target shooting” sign and 0.1 mile past the Tonto national Forest ranger station.  Turn right and park along the dirt turn outs. This area is heavily used by ATVs, so don’t block roads.  This segment may also be accessed via a 0.2-mile connector path from trailhead at the ranger station when it’s open. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

REI Pitch Fest 2018

Congratulations to Team Maricopa Trail + Park Foundation for a great presentation at last night's REI Pitch Fest 2018. 
Jan Hancock presents key team members.
Let's keep our fingers crossed for much-needed grant money that will help accomplish MTPF 2018 goals for enhanced trail stewardship programs. Grants will be announced in the next few weeks.
Overview of MTPF goals for 2018
Brian Derrick intros his Eagle Scout son's MT project.
Larry Snead and Rick Kesselman point out goal areas on MT.

Friday, January 5, 2018

PRICKLY PEDAL MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE featured in the February 2018 issue of PHOENIX magazine.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Trail Work Event: 12-23-17

TRAIL WORK DAY: 12-23-17
Who says trail work isn't fun? 
In preparation for the 2018 Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race coming up on January 20, 2018, MT+PF volunteers spent the morning prepping a section of the route.
Clearing a Palo Verde tree hazard
The end of a productive day.
A shiny new sign was installed during the event.

Trail users will be glad that is cactus was trimmed.
This event was one of several held over the past months where workers cleared brush, raked rocks and trimmed cacti to make the section of the Maricopa Trail that runs between Spur Cross  Ranch Conservation Area and Lake Pleasant Regional Park safer and more attractive for race participants and users in general.
Trail Director Rick Kesselman led the project


Monday, December 11, 2017

Plant Profile: Desert Marigold

Desert Marigold
Baileya multiradiata
A familiar plant found along the Maricopa Trail is the Desert Marigold.  The hardy perennial with grayish green leaves and daisy-like yellow flowers normally blooms from March through November, although depending on weather and rainfall, they can pop up almost anytime. The lone blossom shown here added a welcome spot of color in December.  The plant is a member of the Asteraceae family and grows in clumps up to 30 inches high and 24 inches wide. It thrives in disturbed, sandy soils such as those found in washes and along roadsides.  In addition to its long blooming season, the plant has a large range covering much of the Southwest between 300 and 6500 feet in elevation.  

Monday, December 4, 2017

Maricopa Trail Usery Mountain Segment

Some sights from a recent trek of the Maricopa Trail Usery Mountain Segment.
This scenic passage runs between Usery Pass Road and Bush Highway just south of the Salt River Recreation Area. It's a wonderful way to experience this beautiful swath of Sonoran Desert---without the crowds!

RATING: easy
LENGTH: 7.5 miles one way 
ELEVATION:  1320' - 1880'
From US 60 in Mesa, take the Ellsworth Road exit 192 and go 9 miles north (Ellsworth turns into Usery Pass Road) to the Wild Horse trailhead on the left. The trailhead is marked by a Maricopa Trail sign and a no-shooting post. There’s space for about 6 vehicles in the dirt turnout parking area.
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