by Marnie Uhl, President/CEO, Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce
Some of the best days can be spent outdoors right here in Prescott Valley where nature and community coexist for a nurturing and satisfying experience.
One of my favorite places is Mountain Valley Park, which is 69 acres of land in the middle of Prescott Valley. And while it has great amenities such as the outdoor aquatic center, dog park, play equipment and the skate park, I am always drawn to the Urban Forest/Yavapai Lakes.
The lakes sit on 12 acres surrounded by an all-accessible walking path and are home to a variety of waterfowl, fish and other wildlife. Many of the 100 trees at the Urban Forest have been donated in remembrance for special people or events; a nearby kiosk displays commemorative plaques.
The two lakes have been added to the Arizona Game and Fish Community Fishing Program. A valid fishing license is required for those older than 10.
On any given morning people are here walking their dogs, getting exercise or just enjoying being outdoors. Several of us make this our weekly Sunday back-to-nature morning.
And, I always like to remind people to not feed bread to the ducks but rather grapes, peas or worms. The Urban Forest/Yavapai Lakes are at 8700 Lakeshore Drive.
Not too far down the road is Fain Park, another oasis in the heart of Prescott Valley.
This 100-acre land parcel was donated by the Fain Family and is home to such recreational activities as hiking, fishing and gold panning. All trails are easy-to-moderate. The lake is stocked with trout; a valid fishing license is required.
Additionally, the park includes a replica 1890s gold town (Massick’s), the Fitzmaurice Ruin archaeological site, and an historical mining display.
For the more adventurous, we have the Iron King Trail, a 14-mile moderately trafficked out-and-back trail good for all skill levels. For the more advanced hiker, there is the 4.5-mile Glassford Summit Trail with an elevation gain of 944 feet. This trail is best used April to September.
Every October, the Town of Prescott Valley Parks and Recreation department hosts the Run for the Hill of It, a noncompetitive run, walk or hike up Glassford Hill.
And if you are feeling a little more restless and want to get farther out into nature, visit the Mingus Mountain or Lynx Lake recreation areas.
The Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center has this and more information on the natural wonders that make up this unique and diverse region. Visit pvchamber.org or call 928-772-8857. The Chamber and Visitor Center is located at 7120 E. Pav Way, Ste 102, Prescott Valley 86314.