Saturday, November 17, 2018

Maricopa Trail Phase 1 Completion Celebration.

Maricopa Trail Phase 1 Completion Celebration: Saturday, November 17, 2018.
The successful completion of the 315-mile, Valley-circumnavigating Maricopa Trail was celebrated today at Cave Creek Regional Park.  Dignitaries, supporters, volunteers and countless movers-and-shakers were on hand to mark the occasion. Here's a look at the day's festivities. PHOTOS:
New Kiosk: This colorful and informative sign was unveiled at the event. Father of the Maricopa Trail: Andy Kunasek, Former Maricopa County Board Supervisor was a driving force in bringing the trail to fruition. Scorpion: An Arizona Game and Fish representative displays a scorpion at the event.
King Snake demo: A Maricopa County employee displays a non-venomous king snake. Harris Hawks take flight: Two Harris Hawks rehabilitated by Wild at Heart rescue were released into the park. Ready to let them fly: Andy Kunasek and Steve Chucri get set to release the hawks. Gila monster: a Gila monster missing part of one of its back legs rehabilitates at the park Nature Center.
Ceremonial "last shovel-fulls": final dirt is placed on the trail. Steve Chucri: Maricopa County Board of Supervisor Chairman recognizes trail supporters. RJ Cardin: Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Director emceed the program. Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation: Larry Sneed and Jan Hancock host the MT maintenance trails provided by REI.  John Rose: Maricopa Trail Manager recognizes the many partnerships involved in building the trail.  Brian Derrick: Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation President speaks about the organizations mission, trail maintenance and volunteerism. Andy Kunasek: The Father of the Maricopa Trail speaks bout the trail's history and future. Branding Ceremony: A reenacting of the ceremonial branding that took place at the 2004 Maricopa Trail ground breaking brings the closure to a year-long effort. American Conservation Experience: This Flagstaff-based volunteer organization began working on the Maricopa Trail in 2016 and have been instrumental in rehabilitating segments damaged by wildfire and constructing sustainable routes.
New kiosk unveiled
Father of the Maricopa Trail
King snake demo
Harris Hawks take flight
Ready to let them fly.
Harris Hawk handling
Harris Hawk release preparations
Gila Monster
Ceremonial "last shovel-fulls"
Steve Chicory
RJ Cardin
Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation
John Rose
Brian Derrick
Andy Kunasek
Branding ceremony.
American Conservation Experience.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Gila Monsters on the Trail

Saw this little beauty on Segment 20 of the Maricopa Trail this past weekend.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Improvements to Maricopa Trail North of Cave Creek Completed

Completion Report

American Conservation Experience (ACE) Maintenance
Cave Creek Ranger District
Forest Trails 245 and 247
Maricopa Trail Segment 20
January through February 2018
John J. Rose, P.L.S.

Hitch One 1/10/18 through 1/17/18
Crew Leader:        Dylan Baker
Crew Size:            8

This hitch was a front country operation based out of the Bronco Trailhead. The crew improved Trail 245 from its intersection with Trail 247 back to the Bronco Trailhead, 3.5 miles. Rose placed Carsonite markers at ½ mile intervals along this route. The work included brushing, tread improvement and de-rocking.

Hitch Two 1/24/18 through 1/31/18
Crew Leader:        Jake Groth
Crew Size:            7

This was a backcountry hitch based out of the big spring approximately halfway through the route.  Note that this spring, while permanent, is not identified on the original topo maps. The Backcountry Horseman Association of the East Valley provided packing support, bringing in tools and food to the location. The camp site is 2.5 miles from the Spur Cross parking area. This hitch concentrated on the area one half mile from the intersection of the Bronco Trail 245 (hitch one start point) back approximately 2.5 miles. The main thrust was the area where the trail drops into Cottonwood Creek with a large stand of junipers. The 2005 Cave Creek Complex Fire devastated the junipers throughout the area but this stand survived. As a result there was heavy brush and an indeterminate route through the area. The crew did an excellent job brushing a well-defined route, uncovered historic cairns, building new ones and substantial tread improvement. Rose placed Carsonite markers at ½ mile intervals along this route.

Hitch Three 2/7/18 through 2/14/18
Crew Leader:        Jake Groth
Crew Size:            6

This was also a backcountry hitch based out of the same big spring. Pack support was provided at the end of the hitch but all of the food was carried in by the crew. This hitch continued the brushing and tread work and also included extensive rock work. Approximately three miles of trail were improved during this hitch. Rose placed Carsonite markers at ½ mile intervals along this route.

Hitch Four 2/21/18 through 2/28/18
Crew Leader:        Jake Groth
Crew Size:            8

This was a front country hitch based out of the forest just north of Spur Cross. The camp location was at a wash that provided a shortcut hike into the work area that saved time and energy for the crew. The crew completed the 10.71 mile Segment 20 during this hitch. The work included brushing, tread work and extensive rock work. Rose placed Carsonite markers at ½ mile intervals along this route as well as FR48, a two mile trail connecting Spur Cross to the Skull Mesa Trailhead, which was the end of the trail work.

Summary of the specific work accomplished:
·      Drains Repaired:146
·      Water Bars Repaired: 10
·      Drains Built: 24
·      Cairns Re-built:23
·      Armored spillways built:1

Friday, March 23, 2018

Arizona Outdoor Expo March 24-25, 2018

Be sure to stop by the Maricopa Trail & Park Foundation booth at this weekend's Arizona Game & Fish Outdoor Expo!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Biological Diversity and Remote Backcounty on the Maricopa Trail.

Biological Diversity and Remote Backcounty on the Maricopa Trail.
Of the 10 county regional parks that are linked together by the Maricopa Trail, the one with the most biological diversity is also the smallest.  At just over 2000 acres, it’s just a fraction of the size of White Tank Mountain Regional Park (about 30,000 acres). Despite its tiny footprint, the park has the largest number of documented plant species in the system. 

Complex geology, archeological sites, active wildlife and the riparian corridor of Cave Creek make this one of the most interesting places in the Valley. The Maricopa Trail shares space with the Spur Cross Trail, moving through the park to connect with the Tonto National Forest trail system. It’s a great place to step out on one of the route’s most remote and beautiful segments.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Fletcher Heights Parkfest

Fletcher Heights Parkfest
Jan Hancock, MTPF & Bill Moss, City of Peoria

The Maricopa Trail & Park Foundation spent the morning of February 24, 2018 at the New River Trailhead @ Fletcher Heights.
Kid visitors got free bike and fire helmets
The trailhead is located at 7639 W. Deer Valley Road in Peoria and offers easy access to the 12.5-mile New River Trail---a paved non-motorized route that runs from Bethany Home Road to Williams Road that has connectivity with Glendale's Grand Canal Trail, the 14+-mile Fletcher Heights Community Pathway System and myriad others across the Metro Phoenix area.
You can literally get to almost anywhere in the Valley from this trailhead and not have to walk on a road.
There was a lot of free swag
Larry Snead provided MT info for visitors
Future plans include more links between Peoria Trail and Bikeway System the Maricopa Trail.
New River Trailhead 
To learn more about the visit and
Yummy free breakfast burritos

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Maricopa Trail in the news

Maricopa Trail featured on

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

More Photos from the Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race: Jan 20, 2018

Some top finishers

Jan Hancock of MTPF

First riders cross the finish line.
Larry Sneed of MTPF
Top woman finisher gives an interview

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.