Take A Hike


As warmer weather becomes more the norm than the surprise, it might be time to inspect some local trails.

One of these is the Shoofly Trail.

The trail was constructed less than 10 years ago. Take Houston Mesa Road to the Shoofly Ruin parking lot.

This is an up-and-down trek of 1.3 miles along the flank of Houston Mesa, with occasional views. Another 0.9 miles has recently been added, connecting it to an old road, which heads southeast for 0.7 to end at the Houston Loop Trail, for a total of 3.6 miles.

The total elevation gain is 150 feet, but there are so many up-and-down sections, experts Roger and Ethel Freeman, who wrote the book "Day Hikes and Trail Rides in Payson's Rim Country," recommend allowing more time than the length of the trail would indicate.

Another caution by the authors, "The forest roads are not posted with numbers; use care to follow signs on Carsonite posts and cairns, as confusing and unauthorized trails have recently been constructed."

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