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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kid-friendly wetlands hike

Allen Severson Wildlife Area

View from the blind

A haven for Arizona White Mountain bird populations, this 370-acre marsh area was created by the City of Show Low to increase waterfowl production while providing an eco-friendly solution for wastewater effluent.  Two accessible trails with interpretive signs wind among pinyon-juniper grasslands before emerging into a willow-wrapped wetland bird haven.  The main path splits at a fork 0.2 mile from the trailhead.  Here, go left to get to an enclosed viewing blind with seating and bird identification placards.  The right fork leads to a wood plank open-air observation platform.  Patience is required to catch glimpses of the wildlife that frequents the area.  In addition to the expected pintails and mallards, look for raptors, songbirds, antelope and elk. To get the most out of your visit, download a bird identification app and pack a pair of binoculars.

LENGTH: 1.2 miles roundtrip
RATING: easy, barrier-free, 100% paved
HOURS: dawn to dusk daily
FACILITIES: porto potty

From Show Low, go east on US60 to AZ77 on the left.  Go 3.3 miles on AZ77 to the signed turn off, turn right and continue 0.3 mile to the parking area. Roads are paved with the last 0.3-mile on sedan-friendly cinder.

INFO: Lakeside Ranger District, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
EPA Info document:

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