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Monday, June 6, 2016


Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
A pond on the Meadow Trail
Taking a walk in the forest shouldn't be limited to the young and fleet of foot. High on the edge of the Mogollon Rim north of Payson, two paved trails combine for more than 5 miles of barrier free exploring. Both are suitable for wheelchairs, strollers and walkers so everybody can wander under the pines regardless of their mobility issues. Well known Rim Vista Trail #622 traces limestone escarpments overlooking rambling valleys of coniferous forests and distant mountain vistas. This popular route can be accessed from any of the viewpoint parking lots located along the first three miles of Forest Road 300. Meadow Trail #505 intersects Rim Vista at the Woods Canyon Vista trailhead and offers a less crowded option. Located within Woods Canyon Lake Recreation Area, Trail #505 parallels the busy access road, passing several campgrounds on its way to the lake.
The well-signed route encompasses pine-oak woodlands, sunny meadows, myriad wildflowers, two rustic bridges and a good chance to see wildlife skulking along the margins of a swampy pond.
Bridge on the Meadow Trail
Upon its approach to the lake, the trail makes a gentle descent to land at a country store where you can purchase a day use permit if you want to continue exploring the more difficult Woods Canyon Lake Trail #336 that makes a 3 mile loop around the lake or rent a kayak for a cooling glide over the water.
Rim Vista Trail at the edge of the Mogollon Rim
Meadow Trail: 1.8 miles one way
Rim Vista Trail: 3.5 miles one way
RATING: easy/barrier free
ELEVATION: 7,540' – 7,640'

From Payson, go 29 miles east on State Route 260 to Forest Road 300 (Rim Road), turn left and continue 3 miles to the Woods Canyon Vista trailhead on the left. The trail begins across the road.
INFO: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

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