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Friday, March 27, 2009

VERDE RIVER GREENWAY

VERDE RIVER GREENWAY Dead Horse Ranch State Park Weaving among gigantic Arizona sycamore, Freemont cottonwood and Goodding willow trees, this trail stays on the cliffs above the Verde River. Patched together with wooden plank bridges, the route showcases excellent views of cattail-choked coves that support one of the highest concentrations of nesting birds in the United States. This precious riparian gallery forest of trees shrubs and grasses is one of only five remaining in Arizona-- and twenty in the world. Nearly twenty endangered species including the southwestern willow flycatcher, river otter, lowland leopard frog, spikedace minnow, Colorado squawfish and the southwestern bald eagle depend on this rare environment for their survival. ELEVATION RANGE: 3,300 DOG RATING: Dogs must stay on leash and out of the water. Driving distance from Phoenix: 130 miles one-way GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, go north on Interstate 17 to Camp Verde (exit 287) and take Highway 260 west to Cottonwood. Turn left on Main Street (89A toward Clarkdale) and continue to 10th Street. Turn right on 10th St. and proceed over the Verde River Bridge to the park entrance. From the park entrance, take the second right on the road leading to the Mesquite Day Use Area. The trail starts in the left parking area. INFO: Visit pr.state.az.us/Parks/parkhtml/deadhorse.html or call (928) 634-5283 To learn more about the national Wild & Scenic River System, visit: rivers.gov/wst-verde.html To learn about potential threats to the river’s survival, visit: biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/save_the_verde/index.html Fee: There’s a day use fee per vehicle.

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