If a Pine Cone – a resident of the tiny mountain hamlet located 15 miles north of Payson – tells you to “Go take a hike” don’t take it personally.
The person might actually be inviting you to participate in Trails Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 27 at the Pine ramada in the center of town.
Activities at the ramada will include demonstrations and information presented by the Arizona Trails Association, the U.S. Forest Service, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, Gila County Mounted Posse, Arizona Site Stewards and more.
The day will also feature several guided hikes including a three-mile roundup trip of about two-hours in length on the moderately difficult “Loop Trail” located just south of Pine. Llamas from the Ranch at Fossil Creek Llamas will join the hikers on the trek. The hike begins at 10 a.m. at the Pine Trailhead parking lot.
At 10:45 a.m., organizers will host the Bradshaw Meadows Hike – a roundtrip journey of about 3.5 miles on the moderately difficult Arizona Trail. Organizers expect the jaunt to take about 2.5 hours. It also begins at the Pine Trailhead parking lot.
For birders interested in ornithology, a guided one-hour hike gets underway at 7:30 a.m. at the Pine ramada. The focus will be on the Rim Country’s permanent and migrating berths.
A trail building demonstration hosted by Forest Service officials and local volunteers is also on the day’s agenda. A start time for it will be announced soon.
Trails Day organizers are asking each hiker to bring their own water, hiking footwear, sun protection and any other items necessary to safely participate.
The best advice from long-time high country hikers when scouring local trails is “Take only photographs, leave only footprints.”
Call Maureen Walsh at (928) 476-6427 for more information about Trails Day.