By Jennifer Marshall
While you love city life, you crave time outside exploring nature and being active. Nothing quite revs you up like climbing up or rappelling down a mountain. Other days, you’re ready to conquer the trail on your mountain bike. And some days, you long for a peaceful space to watch wildlife or stroll through a historical site or museum.
The adrenaline and tranquility of nature is closer than you think. Situated roughly an hour and thirty minutes from Phoenix, Prescott is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Whatever your mood, Prescott has the outdoor activities you crave. And spring is the ideal time to have fun.
Home to mountains, parks, lakes and 450 plus miles of trails, Prescott offers a multitude of nature’s enjoyment. From mountain climbing to birdwatching to golfing, you can be as active as you want. Go kayaking, canoeing and fishing, or take to the trails and go mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and camping. With trails at every skill level, you’ll discover one you easily enjoy while still feeling challenged.
If you’ve never visited Prescott, the Circle Trail and the Heritage Trail are great introductions to this city’s nature and history.
The Prescott Circle Trail, which encircles Prescott, is approximately 54 miles long with an elevation gain of 5500′. This trail is classified as non-motorized, which means that visitors can only hike, bike or horseback ride. The summit is 6680′, and the base is 5160′. Accessibility is easy with multiple trailheads, and for those who want to make their excursion a more leisurely one, several campgrounds are located along the way.
Plans for this trail began in the 1990s, and the trail opened in 2015. As you travel the trail, you’ll encounter a variety of levels of difficulty, which are all well worth it as the landscape is beautiful and awe-inspiring. Along your journey, you’ll also encounter a varied topography including chaparrals, forests, grasslands, mountains/buttes, rock formations and riparian areas.
For downloadable maps of the Circle Trail, check out the City of Prescott website.
Looking for a break after your hike? Then the Heritage Trail is perfect for you.
Head over to the Prescott Visitors Center where you’ll receive your interactive map. This is a self-guided and self-paced tour. This is your tour, and with 50 plus historical locations and sites in and around Prescott, what you see and how long you stay is all up to you.
The Heritage Trail represents all aspects of Prescott’s history. From Native American, to Western, to 1863, when Arizona became an official territory, to Prescott’s days of gold mining grandeur, you’ll learn how all these aspects have interwoven and shaped this city into what it is today.
Eager to get the kids excited about history? Bring them to the Visitors Center where they’ll be presented with a map and clues for the Prescott Hunt for History. Their job is to locate the bronze statues at the various historical locations and sites all while getting enthusiastic about Prescott’s past.
Think spring, and plan your Prescott getaway today.
For more information, please visit www.visit-prescott.com