Arizona Trail Brings Visitors, Recognition To Community


Tracie Charlton of Phoenix paid a visit to the East Verde River Trail south of Pine on March 24 to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery that makes the Rim country the perfect weekend getaway from her studies as an ASU communications and global studies major.

Tracie Charlton of Phoenix paid a visit to the East Verde River Trail south of Pine on March 24 to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery that makes the Rim country the perfect weekend getaway from her studies as an ASU communications and global studies major. Photo by Joy Hafford. |

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Greetings on this beautiful Easter weekend. Do you have any fond childhood Easter memories? I remember coloring eggs, baskets with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, a church service with beautiful music and corsages for the girls (that looked nice on my pretty new Easter dress), and then a traditional big family dinner with ham, potato salad and deviled eggs.


It is a special weekend here in Pine and Strawberry as the churches hold inspirational services this Sunday to celebrate the resurrection and the hope that this occasion signifies.

Whether you celebrate Easter or just delight in the wonders of springtime on the Rim, I hope you have a great weekend with your families and enjoy the beautiful weather and seasonal activities.

Children can make Easter memories on Saturday, April 7, when Strawberry’s Elite, the Pine Strawberry School, Mommy Perks and Pine Media bring the third annual Easter Egg Fun Day to the Pine Trailhead, at the south entrance to Pine. The free event begins at 10 a.m. There will be an Easter egg hunt, coloring area, snacks, prizes, fire truck, and free handmade candy carriers (while they last). This is a wonderful opportunity for the local kids to hop about in the sunshine with their siblings, friends and the Easter bunny and have a great day of fun!

For those who want to experience the dawn of this special day, there will be an Easter Sunrise Service beginning at 6:45 a.m. on the grounds of the First Baptist Church in Pine. Bring a jacket or blanket as it can be quite cool in the early morning here on the mountain. The service will be followed by a free breakfast. There will also be a Bible study at 9:15 a.m. and a worship service at 10:30 a.m.

For those who are regular readers of the column, you may be as surprised as I was to learn that many Pine Strawberry residents are still unfamiliar with the Arizona Trail and have not heard of the upcoming Arizona Trail Day at the Pine Community Center on April 21. I hope you will bear with me as I repeat this important information, and that you will spread the word to your family, friends and neighbors about this amazing trail and the exciting Trail Day event and what it means to our community.

The Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail is a scenic, non-motorized trail that stretches over 800 miles from the U.S. Mexico Border to the Arizona Utah border. It winds through some of the most spectacular, rugged landscapes in the western United States. Thousands of people have volunteered in the project to build and preserve the trail, working through groups like the Arizona Trail Association to the completion of the project.

Recreationists including hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers, cross-country skiers, nature enthusiasts, photographers, sight-seers and others are taking the trail to explore Arizona’s most breathtaking backcountry and view birds and other wildlife or to trace the steps of Native Americans, early explorers and pioneers along historic trail routes. You can hike, run, ride your horse or mountain bike on the Arizona National Scenic Trail. This trail runs through Pine and Strawberry, which makes us an official Gateway Community along the trail.

Being a Gateway Community puts us on the map, as the Trails Association will be promoting our community through their email “blasts” and Web site as a place people can come off the trail to rest, shop, find wi-fi, meet up with family and friends, and re-stock before hitting the trail again. We will be a destination for travelers on the Arizona Trail, and it therefore is a great asset to our community and businesses.

Trail Day is April 21

Our first annual unique and exciting Trail Day event will take place on April 21 at the Pine Community Center and is an all-day event. This is one that you, your family and friends do not want to miss!

There will be guided hikes, Bitner’s Llama hikes and goat fudge, horse and dog team demonstrations, Hashknife Pony Express, historical downtown guided walk, and medieval fighting. Get a “Passport” and have it stamped at 10 local businesses for a chance to win great prizes! There will be fire department and school activities and the firewise trailer. Visit the Arts & Crafts Guild boutique to meet local artists and crafters and see their work. Booths include the Rif-Raff Club, Strawberry’s Elite, Friends of Tonto Natural Bridge and the Business Community. Purchase raffle tickets to support local charities! Restaurants will offer great specials. Plans are also in the works for a pancake breakfast, tractor or car show, live music, clowns and activities for children.

Proceeds from the event will go toward local charities, school activity funds and community beautification — such as building great walking paths from one end of town to the other.

It’s going to be a great day of fun to promote our community and show people what we have here to enjoy the outdoors and our many amenities. Come out and support the first annual Pine/Strawberry Trail Day — and tell your friends. Let’s take a hike!

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