As the city of Phoenix continues to grow and expand, we make sure to keep some areas wild. Most of these spaces are called preserves; they are beautiful and wild, and a great way to see the desert as it once was before the city of Phoenix grew as big as it is today.
One of these preserves is Mcdowell Sonoran Preserve. A large open space, it hold animals, scenery, and 250 miles of trails! There’s room to ride your horse, your bike, to rock climb, or to walk, so there’s really options for everyone. There’s 30,000 acres of wide open desert to be explored!
In 1991, the Mcdowell Sonoran Conservancy became a nonprofit and joined a large land conservation movement. The initial preserve was only five square miles, and was dedicated in 1994. Trail building began in 1996, and since then the preserve has only grown. It has won a few awards as well, such as the Crescordia Award in environmental education.
There are many events held at the preserve if you’d like to get involved and get back in nature. There are constantly hikes happening, historical tours, biking trips, dog walks, and many more. If you’d like to get into nature and get away from the big city, the preserve has you covered with many events designed to help you break away from your routine.
The Mcdowell Sonoran Preserve offers many education programs. They offer a lecture series for adults, covering topics from geology to botany. They also offer classes for kids, family hikes, trailside stations for the little ones, and even a science festival. Their Conservancy kids programs are designed to get kids excited about spending time in nature, and help them learn things along the way.
There are parts of the preserve all over Scottsdale, and with over 250 miles of trails, there’s plenty of space to get away from it all. The best part about all of it is that the preserve is free to use for everyone. The long Arizona winters are the perfect time to drive over to the Mcdowell Sonoran Preserve and get some free exercise in the beautiful Arizona desert.