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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