For the past seven years, the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department has been telling park visitors to “take a hike!” While this is one of many activities offered in the county’s regional parks, the department makes a point of stressing these three words to their park visitors on November 17, National Take a Hike Day.
“We understand that National Take a Hike Day isn’t an official holiday; however, National Trails Day is in June and National Parks and Recreation Month is in July, and that’s when our industry typically promotes outdoor activities. During the summer months here, the department tries to limit park visitor exposure to the heat by shifting program offerings to earlier in the morning and later in the evening when temperatures are slightly cooler,” said R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Director.
With the cooler weather fast approaching, the community is seeking opportunities to recreate in open spaces and reconnect with nature. With more than 120,000 acres of parkland and 600 miles of trails, Maricopa County’s regional parks and trails provide the perfect setting for just that!
“This National Take a Hike Day, our parks department is waiving the $7 per vehicle day-use entry fee into all of our regional parks. This, coupled with the cooler temperatures, provides the perfect reason for families to take a hike, go for a mountain bike ride, or perhaps venture over to Lake Pleasant Regional Park for an afternoon of shoreline fishing,” added Clint Hickman, Maricopa County Board of Supervisor, Chairman, District 4.
In addition, the department kicked off its annual 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge on November 1. With the program's launch and holidays quickly approaching, the free entry day provides a little extra motivation to visit the parks to enjoy ranger-led hikes and log additional miles.
Park visitors are reminded that although temperatures may be cooler, appropriate hiking attire, sunscreen, and an ample water supply are still necessary for all activities.
In recognition of National Take a Hike Day, the $7 per vehicle day-use entry fee will be waived at all of Maricopa County’s regional parks on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, all other fees apply.
To locate a Maricopa County regional park near you, visit www.maricopacountyparks.net.