Welcome To Rim Country

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Arizona's Rim Country is a popular with Valley dwellers in the summer, but its autumn charms may be unfamiliar. Looking for a slower pace? Want to experience a real fall season and maybe some winter snow? Then join us in the Rim Country.

From the moment you arrive at the gateway to the Mogollon Rim, you'll notice that Payson is maintaining its small-town charm while enjoying the amenities of urban life.

To the folks who call Rim Country home -- from Tonto Basin in the south to Strawberry in the north -- there is no better place on earth in which to live.

Located in the geographic center of Arizona and encircled by almost 3 million acres of forest, Payson is one of only three pure air ozone belts in the world.

Known for its beauty and year-round recreational opportunities, Payson is at an elevation of 5,000 feet -- precisely the right altitude for people who love the scents and sounds of the forest.

There are innumerable recreational activities in the Rim Country, including a visit to the Tonto Natural Bridge, the Tonto National Monument, the Rim Country Museum, the Shoofly Ruins, and the Tonto Fish Hatchery. Take a hike, a horseback ride, see the back country from a four-wheeler, an ATV or air.

Take a stroll down Main Street and look at the redevelopment taking place there. Stroll further down and drop a line in one of the lakes at Green Valley Park, where the fish are always biting -- and the Arizona Game and Fish Department restocks them with trout just about every two weeks.

Visit the park in the early morning or at dusk and get a look at all the birds that make their nesting and resting areas around the lake.

Visitors come here seeking the breathtaking views found along the Rim Road -- the 42-mile trek that takes them from one side to the other along the edge of the Mogollon Rim.

The Tonto National Forest hugs the crest of the Mogollon Rim and stretches 90 miles south over a spectacular 2.9 million acres of pine and cactus. And just over the top of the Rim, an enchanting chain of woodland lakes -- Knoll, Bear Canyon, Woods Canyon, Willow Springs -- beckon. And at this time of year, though the developed campgrounds close at the lakes, you can find a solitude and beauty that will take your breath away.

Roosevelt Lake is always a big draw, too. It is the biggest of the six Salt River Project lakes. Its game fish include large- and small-mouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and crappie. Both a wildlife area and refuge, Roosevelt Lake is posted to permit hunting at certain times of the year.

Go ahead. Treat yourself to these and any other local wonders mentioned in this handy guide to fall and winter fun in the Rim Country.

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