Like many people, I live in the Verde Valley because of the trails.
I grew up in Colorado, where I discovered the joy of hiking at a very young age.
Sometimes, I guess I must have had too much joy for hiking.
My parents, exasperated with me, would occasionally be forced to pull off to the side of a mountain road, just to let me run around and burn off some of my outdoors enthusiasm.
For the past two years though, I’ve found my bliss on the multitude of red rock trails that cover the local landscape like webs, providing access to some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen.
I can walk right out my front door and be on a trail in less than five minutes, and following that trail to any number of interconnected trails will take me practically anywhere in the region.
I must admit, I’ve had a hard time adjusting to the prickly nature of the Arizona landscape, where it seems like everything you see can either bite, poke or scratch you, but in the bigger picture a sting or scrape is just a minor annoyance.
Like many locals, I have found a few favorite trails that I frequent regularly, and I tend to stay away from the most popular trails where the tourist traffic is heavy, especially on sunny summer weekends.
The best thing about the red rock trail system is that, no matter who you are or what your preference, there’s a trail designed just for you.
Or so I thought.
Over the last eight months, the Red Rock Ranger District has been conducting public meetings in an attempt to develop recommendations for the future of the red rock trail system.
During those meetings, some residents have expressed the opinion that a great many more trails are needed.
For the full story, please see the Wenesday, July 31 issue of the Camp Verde Journal or Cottonwood Journal Extra.