|Peck's Lake and Tavasci Marsh|
Monday, March 28, 2016
This place is for the birds---and the hikers who love them.
Designated an "important birding area" by the Audubon Society, Tavasci Marsh occupies a placid strip of green bounded by Tuzigoot National Monument, Dead Horse Ranch State Park and Verde River Greenway State Natural Area. The 96-acre, spring-fed wetland hosts a colorful cocktail of winged beasts chipping among reeds, roosting, wading or gliding over the waters in feathered flotillas.
Access is via a free parking area near Tuzigoot or at DHSR ($7 fee per vehicle). Both entry
It's not necessary to be a birding expert to spot some of the more than 245 species that call the marsh home for all or part of the year. Sightings of Red-winged Blackbirds, Cardinals, Wood Ducks and Osprey are almost a given, but a pair of binoculars (and a substantial dose of patience) will aid in scoping out the more illusive Lesser Nighthawks and Peregrine Falcons.
If you're lucky, you might also spot river otters and beavers where the marsh drains into the Verde River.
Tavasci Marsh Trail: 0.9 mile one way
Tuzigoot Trails: variable, we hiked 3.6 miles along the loops.
ELEVATION: 3,130' – 3,410'
From Interstate 17 in Camp Verde, go west on State Route 260 to Cottonwood and follow the signs to either Dead Horse Ranch State Park or Tuzigoot National Monument.