The Land of the Tree Stumps 

Today I asked Clutch to help me knock out a few short hikes on the trail map I’m trying to complete.

First stop was the William Wood Trail. Exactly .5 of a mile on a paved road from Lakeview Campground to Lake Mary Road. Nothing like starting with the easiest of easy trails. Upon crossing the road popular for biking , we continued walking until we reached the Lake.

Beautiful warm day for a walk alongside the banks of Upper Lake Mary. We watched people fish, kayak, canoe , small motor boat ride, and picnic. But alas, we had no such time to linger we needed to move on to the next Trail.

Marshall Lake which is located on Anderson Mesa is popular for duck hunting, fishing, camping, and off road vehicles.

The Observatory has an interesting history and conducts fascinating research. Click below to learn more.

Lowell Observatory
This facility is closed to the public but they have a location downtown that boasts breath-taking night sky viewings and educational programs. This facility is also where astronauts trained and the planet Pluto was discovered !

The first trail we tried was steep, rocky, and eventually led to an open meadow where we could hear gun shots. We decided not to venture any further. Part of the Arizona trail passes through the Marshall Lake area and was much better maintained than the first trail we tried. I marked a few spots on my map so I could come back and explore more in depth on my own.

Time for the final hike. Fay Ridge trail is only marked by a numbered forest road sign. We drove on this dirt trail until we found what looked like a trailhead. As we approached I saw what I guessed to be detailed maps of the area. Upon getting closer this is what I found:

Just the structure awaiting map installation.  To be on the safe side I set our location using my Garmin watch and we set off on the most likely looking trail. The trail was open to bikes, hikers, and motorcycles. Fortunately, we saw no one else while on this trail.

There’s my boot on the rocky trail. Just to give you an idea of the terrain.

I was enjoying the trees and the occasional tree stump until we stumbled upon the land of the tree stumps:

It appeared to be acres upon acres of just stumps. I couldn’t help but wonder why. I saw no sign of disease. No paper factory. No log cabins. No sawmill. Oh… could this just be an area thinned out by the State Land Department/Forest Service? I’m guessing they were trying to create natural meadows in the midst of the forest? Regardless of the reason, it was a depressing scene.

Thankfully the hike didn’t end in the land of the stumps. This bright wildflower stood out almost as a sign of hope for a meadow to evolve and fill with fields of flowers and abundance of wildlife.

Without a map it was impossible to know if we were on a loop trail or an endless trail of trails. We decided to call it a day and head back towards the trailhead.

I’m looking forward to tackling a long hike soon.

Have I mentioned how much I love summer hiking?!




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