Hiking Club Diary – October 2023

Mark Flint, Southwest Trail Solutions guide, accompanies Tom Stafford and Jim Solon on the new Amerind Trail. (Photo by Jeff Love)

New Amerind Trail

Jeff Love

Have you ever driven past the Texas Canyon Rest Area along I-10 between Benson and Wilcox and wondered what it would be like to hike through these interesting rock formations? Last April, the SaddleBrooke Hiking Club (SBHC) was invited to explore the newly developed hiking trails at the Amerind Museum. This location is roughly an hour and 40 minute drive from SaddleBrooke. Take Exit 318 and head south on Dragoon Road for a mile, then turn left to the Amerind Museum.

Tom Stafford, Jim Solon, and Jeff Love from the SaddleBrooke Hiking Club met with the trail developer Mark Flint and hiked some of the trails with him. There are a number of groomed loops that are interconnected, so you can choose routes that are longer or shorter. The organization plans to open the trails to the public in October. A call ahead will be wise to verify this timeline. The number is 520-586-3666.

A fee to enter the museum will include access to the hiking trails. Combining the museum and hiking with a meal in Benson would make for a great day trip.

Mark Flint from Southwest Trail Solutions is scheduled to speak at the SBHC presentation on Nov. 23. He’ll speak about the Amerind trails and other projects he’s worked on. Look for more details in a future newsletter.

To learn more about Amerind, visit the website www.amerind.org. Information about the SaddleBrooke Hiking Club is available at saddlebrookehikingclub.com.

November Hiking Club Program to Explain Trail Design

Jim Solon

Have you ever thought about how that trail you love came to be? The one that beckons you to explore amazing sights, sounds, and the natural environment? Your favorite trail that withstands the test of time, weather, and use that you have enjoyed and hope to enjoy now and into the future?

Mark Flint, the owner of Southwest Trail Design, based here in the Tucson area, will join the SaddleBrooke Hiking Club on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 4 p.m. in the SaddleBrooke One Activity Center. His talk will pull the curtain back on the important considerations that go into designing and developing a successful trail system—one that can sustain use over time.

Mark and his colleagues were recently engaged by the Amerind Museum to enhance their 1,600-acre campus located in the ancestral homeland of the Chiricahua Apache. The team took on the challenge to develop a functional and sustainable trail network exploring the spectacular rock formations in the Dragoon Mountains of Southeast Arizona known as Texas Canyon.

The museum plans to open these trails to the public in October, and their presence promises to enhance an exciting Amerind Museum visit. Located just off the I-10 between Benson and Wilcox, it is just short of a two-hour drive from SaddleBrooke.

To learn more about Amerind Museum, visit their website www.amerind.org, and to learn more about Southwest Trail Solutions, visit the website swtrailsolutions.com.

The SaddleBrooke Hiking Club holds programs in the SaddleBrooke One Activity Center six times a year on the third Wednesday of the month. These gatherings are open to the public and are held in October, November, January, February, March, and April.

Adam Milnor of the U.S. Forest Service

Hiking Club October Program

Bruce Hale

The SaddleBrooke Hiking Club (SBHC) welcomes Adam Milnor from the U.S. Forest Service to describe the new Santa Catalina Trail Plan at the first club program for the season on Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. at the SaddleBrooke One Activity Center. Several club members have influenced the creation of this plan, as it includes areas in the National Forest most frequently used by those living in SaddleBrooke.

Adam Milnor is the Recreation, Heritage, and Lands Staff Officer for the Coronado National Forest, based in the Supervisors Office in Tucson. In that capacity, Adam leads the forest’s recreation program, including over 1,100 miles of trail, 200 recreation sites, five visitor centers, and eight designated wilderness areas across 1.7 million acres. Recently, Adam led the effort to craft the Santa Catalina Trail Plan, which will guide trail stewardship and development over the next 15 years. The role also includes oversight of the forest’s archeology, special uses permitting, and real estate divisions.

Prior to joining the Forest Service, Adam spent 12 years at the Department of the Interior working on conservation and public land management for the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management in Arizona and Oregon.

Though a dedicated resident of Southern Arizona, he holds a degree in recreation management from Arizona State University. He lives in downtown Tucson with his wife and two young children.

SBHC offers six programs related to hiking each season on the third Wednesday of the month. All are welcome to attend.