Arboretum, other state parks offer New Year’s Day hikes, events for sixth year

First Day Hike activities are offered Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day – at Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior as well as other sites in the Arizona State Parks and Trails system.


This year is the 6th annual national collaboration of all 50 state park systems across the nation hosting guided “First Day Hikes” on New Year’s Day.

The National Association of State Park Directors encourages everyone to kick off the new year with a guided hike, walk or tour in any of the participating state parks across Arizona.

Explore the beauty and diversity of sites in the Arizona State Parks & Trails while starting the new year off on a healthy note. Arizona’s “First Day Hikes” give individuals and groups an opportunity to see parts of the state they may have never visited or kick off 2018 in their favorite park, according to a press release.

“This is a chance to truly celebrate all that Arizona State Parks and Trails has to offer,” said Sue Black, executive director of Arizona State Parks and Trails, in the release. “With rich diversity, amazing views and something for everyone. We hope Arizonans join us at a state park on New Year’s Day and throughout 2018.”

The following events are offered Jan. 1 at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, 37615 U.S. Highway 60 in Superior.

•9:30 a.m. Bird walk with Mark Ochs
See colorful cardinals, spotted towhees and others while learning to identify birds based on their field marks, habits and habitat.

•11 a.m. Guided walk along the 1.5-mile main trail
Do century plant agaves truly live 100 years? How old are the massive saguaros on the north side of Magma Ridge, compared with the twice-as-tall eucalyptus trees? Where can you still sneak a post-holiday kiss under genuine mistletoe? Arboretum guide Clyde Waterman is a wealth of knowledge and anecdotes about Sonoran Desert natural history for this tour on the main trail.

•12-2 p.m. New Year concert
Celtic fiddle and flute by recording artist Arvel Bird. If the weather’s mild, the concert will fill the picnic area from 12-2 p.m.; Predictions for rain or cold move the music indoors for afternoon concerts in the lecture room, where space will be limited to audiences of about 30, seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t miss this talented musician, storyteller and world-traveled entertainer. Music is free if you’re a BTA annual member or have an AZ State Parks annual pass. This event is included with the $12.50 daily admission for those who don’t. Details available at

•2 p.m. Edible and medicinal plants
Walk the Curandero Trail on a slow-paced tour guided by Jim Shepherd, explaining ways prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves and jojobas have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years.

The arboretum allows leashed dogs. Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet and under the physical control of the owner. Pet owners are responsible for cleanup.

Admission fees are as follows: Adult 13 and older, $12.50, and child 5-12, $5. Children ages four and under are admitted free.

Arboretum hours from October through April are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. with the last admission one hour prior to closing.

The arboretum is closed Dec. 25, Christmas Day.

For more information, visit the arboretum website or call 520-689-2723.


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