Book Lists Arizona's Best Trails

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An interesting book crossed my desk early this week entitled "50 Hikes in Arizona."

Written by Martin Tessmer, the book details walks, hikes and backpacking trips from the Grand Canyon's North Rim all the way to the Mexican border.

It showcases both short and long trails and hikes to waterfalls, springs, snow, sub-alpine mountaintops, ponderosa forests and deep canyons.

Rim country hikes featured in the new book are Bell Trail, West Clear Creek Trail, Fossil Springs, Horton Creek, and of course, the most popular local trail -- the Highline.

Most locals are familiar with all those trails, but some might not have hiked the Bell Trail located in the Coconino National Forest near Camp Verde.

The description of the hike is sure to entice adventurers: "The creek is a riparian environment lush with water-loving cottonwoods, sycamores and grasses ... you find a rainbow trove of wildflowers here; orange violet, white and yellow."

The trail follows Wet Beaver Creek and is cited as "one of the best trails in Central Arizona."

Having spent an entire day at Fossil Springs last week covering a news story about the closing of the power plants and the effort to restore the area to what it was 100 years ago, I found the book's description of the springs on-target.

The book also details trails and hikes near Benson/Wilcox, Tucson/Nogales, Prescott/Sedona, the White Mountains and north of the Mogollon Rim.

The author is a professor at the University of Colorado at Denver and has written numerous travel articles for newspapers and magazines around the country.

To purchase the book, log on to www.countrymanpress.com or call (802) 457-4826.

Schools join hands

In an effort to promote unity among the elementary schools in Payson, principals and teachers from all three schools have formed a relay team that is entered in the Tucson Marathon Dec. 5.

Kathy and Mike Igliski will represent Frontier Elementary School, Peggy Miles is on the team from Julia Randall and Roy Sandoval will run for Payson Elementary.

Miles will run the first 8.1-mile leg on Biosphere Road before giving way to Kathy Igliski who will run 5.5 miles near Oracle Junction. Mike Igliski is slated for the third leg, a 6.3-mile jaunt also near Oracle. Sandoval will anchor the team during a 6.3-mile run on Wilds Road.

The four will reunite at the finish line and cross it together in a photo finish.

According to Miles, the team is in it for the fun and will not be concerned about their time. The four have named their team, Escuela Corazones, or school hearts.

FES teacher Dan Reid designed special T-shirts for the team members.

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