October 14, 2015

New programs, more trails, same extraordinary scenery highlight McDowell Sonoran Preserve Month

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Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve spreads across more than 30,000 acres of spectacular desert. It is home to diverse wildlife, lush flora and jaw-dropping topography. More than 30 miles of new trails have been added in the preserve this past year, meaning fresh adventures and more to explore.

Stop by the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead starting at 8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, to discover what’s new. The city and the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy are hosting a free event featuring guided hikes covering three distances: 8 miles, 4 miles and the half-mile Jane Rau Interpretive Trail.

A new exhibit dedicated to Native America life in the Sonoran Desert will be unveiled at the trailhead as part of the festivities. The exhibit is courtesy of the Huhugam Ki Museum on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

A program entitled “Preserve Yourself,” staying safe while enjoying the preserve, is scheduled for 11 a.m. and Sonoran Sunday, a family-themed preserve activity, takes place at 3 p.m. The award-winning trailhead is located at 30301 N. Alma School Parkway.

New trails are located in the northern portion of the preserve and can be accessed from the Browns Ranch Trailhead. Pick up a new map at the Oct. 18 event or go online to Scottsdaleaz.gov and search “preserve maps.”

There are more places to see this year in the preserve and more programs available to learn about the region, its wildlife and history.

This season, the conservancy is hosting a free monthly event called Family Sonoran Sunday that will provide expanded opportunities for family members to get out and experience the preserve.

The conservancy is a nonprofit group comprised of more than 500 volunteers who work with the city to support the preserve and champion its sustainability for future generations.

Visit www.mcdowellsonoran.org to learn more about the conservancy and its programs.

To learn more about the preserve, including its 11 trailheads and 170 miles of trails, visit www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov and search “preserve.”

To get a taste of the preserve, its scenery and facilities, view videos here: www.youtube.com/scottsdaleazgov.