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Don't be a trailblazer!

Phoenix City Council approved the Trail Ordinance to define designated and non-designated trails in the Mountain Parks.

From Phoenix Mountain Parks, 1996

Map of Arizona

What is a Trailblazer?
A pioneer... an explorer... an innovator... a leader. All of these definitions are positive attributes associated with the word "trailblazer." However, blazing a trail also means disturbing the status quo. Sometimes this is beneficial to human progress, but often it is demaging to the environment. Back in the days of settling the west, it didn't matter much if some of our wide, open spaces were sacrificed because the resources were so vast.

Today, it matters. Phoenix has almost 26,000 acres of desert parks and preserves within the city limits. As our population grows, this land is quickly becoming the only natural desert left in the Valley.

Phoenix's parks and preserves are enjoyed by hikers, bicyclists and equestrians who want to get away from it all without leaving the city. More than 100 miles of trails are available for exploring the beauty of the Sonoran desert.

Unfortunately, some people don't stay on the established trails. When they go off on their own, they destroy vegetation, cause erosion and often jeopardize their own and others' safety. We call these people "trailblazers" too.

An ordinance to protect the environment.
To ensure that our fagile desert environment is protected for future generations, the Phoenix City Council approved the Trail Ordinance on June 30, 1993. It defines designated and non-designated trails based on the protection of natural, cultural, historical and other resources of the parks and mountain preserves.

This allows the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board to designate areas for revegetation and to block their access from main trails. The ordinance was created to stem the tide of damage and erosion caused by "trailblazers." It also sets a penalty of no less than $50.00 and eight hours of community service for entering park areas closed to public use.

Protect yourself and the environment.
Be informed. Learn about and practice responsible trail use. You'll be helping to ensure that future generations enjoy our beautiful desert for years to come - and you'll avoid fines and penaltities.

Designated trails are amrked by signs. When trails are closed, they will be marked with signs or physical barriers such as rocks, posts or brush.

To learn more: Phoenix Mountains Preserve (520) 262-7901

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