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Monday, August 12, 2019

Fain Park Trails

Shoreline Trail traces the edge of Fain Lake
A grotto on Lynx Creek
There's much to see and do at Fain Park.
A Great blue heron wades in Fain Lake
Juniper and scrub oaks shade the hillside trails
Observation deck above the dam has great views
Huge cottonwood trees thrive around the water
Tucked into a ravine between industrial parks and subdivisions five miles downstream from Lynx Lake in Prescott Valley, Fain Lake offers a diverse menu of outdoor recreation opportunities. 
Lynx Creek Loop is a core route in the 6-trail system.
The lake is the center piece of a 100-acre park that’s named for the Fain family—one of the original settlers in the area—who donated the land to the Town of Prescott Valley in 1997. The tiny oasis located less than a mile off busy State Route 69 provides easy access to fishing, gold panning, picnicking and hiking while embracing its multi-faceted heritage and natural resources with educational components.  The mineral-rich, creek-side property has been explored, hunted, mined and homesteaded since prehistoric times. 
Silverleaf nightshade blooms along the trails
The discovery of gold in the nearby Bradshaw Mountains in the mid 1800s brought on a boom of mining activity and several historic artifacts and buildings from this profitable era are preserved in and around the park. 
A restored stamp mill in the park's mining artifact display 
Noteworthy among the many points of interest is a collection of defunct mining equipment on display along the Lynx Creek Loop Trail.
Old fence on the Calvary Trl frames views of Glassford Hill 
Relics including rusty gears, cogs, jacks and a magnificently-restored stamp mill---a kind of crushing machine used in the processing of ore— are outfitted with signs that explain their function in the laborious pursuit of extracting gold from rock and water. The hills above the 3-acre lake are outfitted with a convoluted system of loopy trails.  Two primary routes—the Lynx Creek Loop and the Cavalry Trail combine for a 1.6-mile circumference tour while the Canyon, Chapel, Overlook and Shoreline trails provide scenic detours.
A bridge spans a finger cove on Fain Lake.
Although there are no official mileages given for the secondary trails, my GPS recorded 3.6 miles for the entire system. 
A sacred datura plant on the Lynx Lake Loop trail
The trails wind among scrubby highlands, slender canyons, leafy backwaters behind the lake’s dam, calm shorelines, a created waterfall and stony grottos along Lynx Creek.  Although the trails are well-marked, seasonal flooding and washouts can make certain areas inaccessible, but the system’s interconnected layout makes it easy to circumvent the sporadic obstacles. 
Lush riparian habitats along the Calvary Trail
The popular community fishing lake is stocked regularly with rainbow trout (except in July and August) by Arizona Game and Fish Department. A fishing dock, bridge, dam observation platform, picnic ramadas, restrooms and a barrier-free lakeside path round out the family-friendly amenities of this compact gem.
View from the Overlook Trail in Fain Park
LENGTH: 3.6 miles
RATING: easy - moderate
ELEVATION: 4954 - 5133 feet
2215 N. 5th Street, Prescott Valley.
From State Route 69 in Prescott Valley, go 0.1-mile south on Prescott East Highway to 2nd Street.  Turn left and go 0.1-mile to 5th Street, turn right and continue 0.4 mile downhill to the park. Park hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. October – March and 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. April – September.
INFO: Prescott Valley Parks and Recreation Dept.

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