For the past nine 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 highlights these three words to their park visitors on November 17, National Take a Hike Day.
“Throughout July, most agencies in our industry celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month. Given that the average temperature in our regional parks is upward of 110 degrees during this time of year, we are not encouraging park visitors to hit the trails,” said R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Director. “So when we discovered National Take a Hike Day, our team quickly embraced it, especially since it’s during a season when everyone is eager to get outside after a long hot summer!”
“We also waive the day-use entry fee into all of our regional parks on this day so the community can explore the Sonoran Desert and take a hike,” added Cardin.
In addition, the department kicked off its annual 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge on November 1. With the launch of the program and the holidays quickly approaching, the free entry day provides a little extra motivation to visit the parks, take ranger-led hikes, and log additional miles.
“We are fortunate to live in a county where we can enjoy the great outdoors for the next six months while others around the nation are heading inside to escape the cold. And, with more than 120,000 acres of open space and the Maricopa Trail, there’s a lot of terrain around the valley to explore,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, District 3. “I encourage you to hit the trails and recharge in our county parks this fall.”
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 Maricopa County’s regional parks on Thursday, November 17, 2022, all other fees apply.
For more information on National Take a Hike Day or to locate a Maricopa County regional park near you, visit www.maricopacountyparks.net.