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Wed, Feb. 20
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Forests offer free use, events this weekend for National Trails Day

The Prescott National Forest and other forests in Arizona are waiving day-use fees this weekend in honor of National Trails Day.

The day is meant to encourage people to visit their federal public lands. The American Hiking Society helped initiate it 17 years ago.

Popular Prescott National Forest day-use sites in the Prescott area such as Thumb Butte, Lynx Lake and Alto Pit are free Saturday and Sunday.

The Coconino National Forest is waiving its Red Rock Pass fee requirement Saturday and Sunday, as well as on Aug. 14-15. The fee waiver covers the forest in the Sedona region but does not cover the forest sites that a concessionaire manages (such as Call of the Canyon, Grasshopper Point and Crescent Moon Ranch).

The Kaibab National Forest is waiving its camping fee this Saturday night at Ten X Campground, located a few miles south of Tusayan and east of Highway 64. Campers still should check in with the host.

The Kaibab and others also are sponsoring a trail-building event from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Volunteers will improve the Davenport Hill Trailhead area at Dogtown Lake south of Williams.

The event also includes an interpretive hike, coloring contest, Smokey Bear visit, competition using ancient hunting tools, and free lunch.

For more information, call 928-635-5660.

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The Coconino Forest is celebrating National Trails Day with an event to help finish the Arizona Trail, too.

Volunteers will meet at Schultz Tank at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The tank is located off Schultz Pass Road (Forest Road 420) or Elden Springs Road (FR556) north of Flagstaff.

The Forest Service will provide trail-building tools and lunch.

Several groups are co-sponsoring this event in honor of Dale Shewalter, the "Father of the Arizona Trail," who died last winter. The day will include a memorial to Shewalter, raffle and prizes.

"This is one of the last sections of the Arizona Trail that needs to be constructed," said Sean Murphy, trails and wilderness coordinator for the Mormon Lake District of the Coconino. "In Dale's memory, we'll continue closing the gap."

Call 928-526-0866 for more information.

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