The Great Summer Escape

Activities abound in the Rim Country



Andy Towle/Roundup -


Andy Towle/Roundup -

The Rim Country has always been a great summer escape for our neighbors to the south. It can also be a great escape for us. Not only do we have the treasures of the Tonto National Forest in our back yard, we also have secret riches to be unearthed in our libraries’ and parks’ programs.

To help unearth those riches, here is an overview of the various programs offered by the Payson Parks Department and area libraries during the coming summer months.


Taylor Pool in Payson’s North Rumsey Park opened May 23. Area residents can enjoy the pool during the open swim hours of 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Admission is just $3 or a 10-visit punch card is available for $20. The pool is closed Sundays.

Get some practice in between now and Saturday, May 30, when the pool will be the site of a community swim meet from 8 a.m. to noon. The meet is open to everyone who can swim 25 yards. Registration is $7 per person; go online to The funds raised will benefit the Payson Pikes swim team. The team is open to those 7 and older. Registration for the swim team is taking place now; the cost is $50 per child. Practice starts June 2 and is held from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Swimming lessons are also offered at the pool. Morning classes are from 9:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday and cost $25 per child. Evening classes are 5:20 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday and cost $15 per student.


Four sessions will be offered through the summer: June 1 through June 11, registration closes May 28; June 15 through June 25, registration is June 8 through June 11; June 29 through July 9, register between June 22 and June 25; July 13 through July 23, register between June 30 and July 9.

The water aerobics program at Taylor Pool starts June 1 and costs $3 per session or participants can use a 10-visit punch card that costs $20. The program is at 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Each session is 50 minutes in length.

Lap swimming takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Family time at Taylor Pool is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and costs $6.

The pool is available for rent for private parties. Call the parks office for details, (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.


The Youth Summer Recreation Program registration for the first session, June 1 through June 18, closed May 21, however, a second session of the program will be held from June 29 through July 16. The program is for children entering the first- through sixth-grades in the 2009-2010 school year.

The program is from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday. Youngsters going into the first- through third-grades will be at the middle school gym. Those going into fourth- through sixth-grade will be at Julia Randall Elementary.

The cost is $75 per child, which includes supplies and snacks. This is not a drop-in program, participants must be registered at the parks office in Green Valley Park.

Youth Tumbling is still registering, the deadline is May 29. The program is for children age 3 through the eighth-grade. There will be beginner, intermediate and advanced classes. Space is limited. The program will be held in the Payson High School wrestling room Tuesdays and Thursdays starting June 16 and continuing for four weeks. Pam DeVoe, owner and operator of Dancin’ on the Rim dance and gymnastics studio, is the instructor. The cost is $25 per child.

The new GeoKidz program is registering now through the first day of each of two sessions. GeoKidz is designed to get children to experience and enjoy the outdoors through structured and unstructured play.

The cost is $75 per child, per session, which includes all supplies and a daily snack, plus several field trips. The first session is from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday, June 1 through June 18. The second session will be from June 29 through July 16. The program is for children going into the first- through third-grades and for those in the fourth- through sixth-grades. Michael Rose is leading the program.

A volleyball camp for youngsters in third- through eighth-grade is planned for June 29 through July 1, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. at Payson High School’s Wilson Dome. Registration is under way and closes June 19.

The cost is $30 per child and includes treats and an official high school volleyball T-shirt. Instruction is by PHS players and coaches.

In addition to the above programs, the parks department is also registering for a golf program planned for June 8 through July 2 at Payson Golf Course.

Adult sports

A new Men’s and Women’s Softball League is registering now through May 29. Play starts June 15 and participants must be at least 16. Games will be played at both Rumsey 1 and 2 and registration is $275 per team. An end-of-season double elimination tournament will be provided.

The fourth annual Sprint Triathlon is at 7 a.m., June 13; pre-registration ends May 29. Anyone 15 and older can participate. There will be a 500-yard swim, a 15-mile bike ride, and a 5K run. Participants can enter individually or as part of a team. The cost, through May 29, is $50 for individuals and $75 per team. After May 29, the fee is an additional $10. For more details, including a downloadable registration form, go to


Circle the Peak Race

National Trails Day is June 6, to celebrate, the Payson Area Trails System and U.S. Forest Service are holding the Circle the Peak Race for runners and hikers. The cost is $20 per person. Participants may run or hike the course, which starts at the Boulders Trailhead. The first five finishers in both the men’s and women’s divisions will get awards and all participants get a “Circle the Peak” T-shirt. Check-in is at 6:45 a.m., the start is at 7:30 a.m.

3rd Annual Disc Golf Tournament

The Rim Country Open Disc Golf Tournament is June 20 with divisions for open, advanced, intermediate and novice players (both men and women).

Disc golf is played much like traditional golf, but instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc. The cost is $15 to $40 depending on division registration. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. at Rumsey Park ramadas 1 and 2.

A players meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m., prior to the start of the competition. Get registration materials at the parks office in Green Valley Park or go online to


Throughout the summer there are plenty of equestrian programs planned at the Payson Event Center. The Summer Barrel Series, with barrel racing and pole bending, has already started. It is held Wednesday nights from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., except June 10, when it will be held Tuesday due to the High School Rodeo Finals taking place at the event center, June 10-13.

Other equestrian activities include: team sorting and roping, starting at 5 p.m., May 28-29, June 25-26, July 30-31, Aug. 27-28 and Sept. 24-25; regular Mogollon Montoneras’ gymkhanas from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 30, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., June 27, Aug. 1, Aug. 29 and Sept. 26; more roping June 20-21; the Turn-N-Burn Barrel Series starts at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 5 and continues Wednesdays through Sept. 30, except its second week, when it will be held Tuesday, Aug. 11 due to preparations for the August Rodeo.

The summer equestrian events finale is the Cowboy Tri Stampede Saturday, Oct. 10 with roping, sorting, barrels and poles.

Concert series

The Concert Under the Stars series returns to Green Valley Park starting June 6. Vendors booths open at 6 p.m., with concerts starting at 7 p.m. Bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on the grass and enjoy a variety of entertainment.

The concerts scheduled include: Sue & Kate, The Brew City Sisters, June 6, with folk, rock and more; Higher Power Band, June 13, “A Blast from the Past” with the sounds of the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and more; Landon Shill Band, June 20, country and rock; Moonshine Mafia, June 27, country and southern rock; Johnny Anonymous, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., July 4, rock; Gypsy Juke Rockers, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., July 4, rock, blues and R&B; CG Blues, July 11, blues; Junction 87, July 18, country; and Payson Jazz Trio, July 25, jazz.

Libraries – Lands of Adventure

Area libraries always are great escapes to adventure, romance, the world around us and the worlds of the imagination. This summer, they offer a world of creativity for young people.

Payson Public Library

The summer reading program at the Payson Public Library has three components based on age. The program starts June 2, but registration is taking place now and continues through June 6.

The Baby Reading Program is for children 6 months to 3 years of age and includes bounces, ticklers, brain play, lullabies and stories. The program is at 10 a.m. every Tuesday, June 2 through June 23.

The Be Creative Summer Program for children 3 to 12 is at 1 p.m., Tuesdays; 10 a.m. or 2 p.m., Wednesdays. It will include puppet shows, arts and crafts, fun games, stories and an opportunity to make new friends.

For young people 10 to 18, the library will have the Express Yourself Summer Program at 4 p.m., Tuesdays. The program will include movie screen tests, Pollock paintings and more.

The summer reading program is free and there will be prizes, books and more, with a grand prize drawing and picnic July 1.

The program is designed to promote reading and learning in a fun way and help maintain skills during the summer recess from school. Space is limited, so it is recommended participants be registered a week in advance of the program’s start.

Youngsters unable to attend the in-house program can still participate in an online version. To sign-up, log on to the library Web site Choose the “Summer Reading” page, scroll to the bottom and click on the computer icon. Scroll to the top of the page to see the program tabs and select the appropriate program for the participant’s age.

Use the “Sign Me Up” button to register; you will create a username and password to access.

If the child will be logging their own reading hours, then create a separate account for each child with their own username and password. For additional details, contact the library at (928) 474-9260.

The Payson Public Library is at 328 N. McLane Road in Rumsey Park.

Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library, Pine

The summer reading program at the Pine library begins June 3 and continues to June 24. It is also using the theme “Be Creative” with the school-age program, for youngsters ages 5 to 17, held Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m.

a.m. to noon in the Library Activity Center at the rear of the Pine Community Center grounds and the preschool program, for those 2-1/2 to 5, held from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., Thursdays in the library.

Programs will include: drama, quilting, cooking, music and dance, puppets, story time, prizes and games.

The library will also have a Movie Madness program each Friday in June.

July at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library will feature culture and languages from around the world, plus quilting and art classes. There will be a Spanish class; a signing class; and a class on speaking and writing in Korean.

The quilting class is set for July 7, 10, 14 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The art class is from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., July 1, 8 and 15.

Movie Madness in July will be Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon.

For more information, call the library at (928) 476-3678. The library is at 6124 W. Randall Place.

Tonto Basin

The Tonto Basin Library will have a story hour Wednesdays, June 3 through July 22. The program is from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and is geared to preschool-age children through those in the third-grade. The library is at 415 Old Hwy. 188 in Tonto Basin and is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call (928) 479-2355.


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