Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Subscriber Services | 928 Media Lab | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Obits | TV Listings | Contact Us
The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : blogs_old : football kickoff 2007 February 05, 2016

1/3/2008 7:53:00 PM
Prescott Forest seeks ideas about Circle Trail proposal
Courtesy/Prescott National Forest/Rob Hehlen
A lone hiker walks along Prescott’s Peavine Trail near Watson Lake, which is part of the Circle Trail.
Courtesy/Prescott National Forest/Rob Hehlen
A lone hiker walks along Prescott’s Peavine Trail near Watson Lake, which is part of the Circle Trail.
How to comment
The Daily Courier

Prescott National Forest officials hope to receive public comments on the new Circle Trail proposal by Friday, Jan. 11.

People can comment by writing to: Prescott Circle Trail Project, Prescott National Forest, 344 S. Cortez St., Prescott, AZ 86303, Attn: Rob Hehlen.

People also can send e-mails to "comments-southwestern-prescott-bradshaw@fs.fed.us."

Those with questions can call Hehlen at 443-8000 or e-mail him at rhehlen@fs.fed.us.

People also can e-mail him to remain on or join the agency's Circle Trail mailing list.

The Yavapai Trails Association also has information about the proposal on its Web site at www.yavapaitrailsassociation.org.

Joanna Dodder Nellans
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - The Prescott Circle Trail has been the dream of the Yavapai Trails Association for all of its 17 years, and it appears like the dream is closer to reality these days.

Prescott National Forest officials are proposing a plan that would complete the portion of the trail that is located on Forest Service land. Most of the trail that would encircle the city is located on the national forest.

Officials want to receive public comments on the new proposal by Friday, Jan. 11.

The first segment of the Circle Trail was complete in 1996. The Forest Service's 1998 Prescott Basin II Project included new trails and converted existing roads.

If the Forest Service completes the trail on its lands, that would leave two segments to build on the northern and eastern portions of the trail: One on state trust lands and the Storm Ranch on the east side of Prescott south of Watson Lake, and one through state and private land just north of town near Pioneer Park.

"The circle is getting closer," said Rob Hehlen, trails volunteer coordinator for the forest. "It's kind of neat."

Hehlen is hoping to get grants to buy easements for the remaining state trust land segments.

Hehlen first heard about the proposal for the approximately 50-mile-long trail around Prescott about three years ago, and started volunteering to help. He liked the idea so much that he eventually landed a part-time job with the Forest Service so he could work on it more. He still volunteers his time to help design the trail on private and state lands.

He has hiked every inch of the existing and proposed trail, and says his favorite section is the portion under construction right now near upper and lower Goldwater lakes.

Prescott National Forest Dispersed Recreation Officer Bill Cook also has helped design part of the Circle Trail. His favorite sections include part of trails No. 332 and No. 393.

Much of the Circle Trail on the national forest already existed as trails with other names, or as motorized roads.

By the late 1990s, forest officials didn't like to use the words "Circle Trail" for the trail system because motorized and non-motorized trail advocates were arguing about how to manage use of the Prescott Basin portion of the forest.

The two sides later made progress, but that didn't produce much government activity on the Circle Trail proposal.

However, now the Forest Service is starting to move ahead on its remaining portion.

The Forest Service announced in November that it was implementing a remaining part of the Prescott Basin II Project decision from 1999 by converting three roads to non-motorized trails.

Forest Road 373A has become an extension of Trail 326 that leads to the Thumb Butte parking lot. Forest roads 51 and 51A have become the Potts Creek Trail No. 327, part of which is the Circle Trail (between Trail No. 322 and Trail #393).

Hehlen and his volunteers currently are constructing the Trail 396 segment that will pass by upper and lower Goldwater lakes south of Prescott.

Now the Forest Service is seeking public comment on a series of actions to complete its portion of the Circle Trail.

Cook said the new proposal incorporates much of what trail users requested.

The proposal includes:

• Build four new trail segments totaling 5.7 miles.

• Convert Forest Road 9403S and portions of forest roads 9401L and 9707V to non-motorized trails.

• Convert multi-use Trail 9415 to a non-motorized trail.

• Add four new dispersed campsites along the trail so people can do it in one trip. They would include fire rings and hitching posts.

• Build a new trailhead along Forest Road 51.

• Close sections of forest roads 373A and 51.

• Obliterate a section of Forest Road 9401L.

• Install a gate on Jack Pine Road at Highway 89 so Cathedral Pines subdivision residents still have an emergency egress if the road closes to motorized vehicles as the preliminary proposal envisions.

After reviewing the public comments, the Forest Service will decide whether to proceed with its proposal or change it.

The comments also will help the agency decide how much it needs to analyze the proposal's potential environmental impacts.

    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Prescott Valley businessman takes plea in stabbing case (4279 views)

•   Rx drugs, pot 'wax' seized near Cordes Lakes (1961 views)

•   Prescott's Arizona Ranger company is back in business (1470 views)

•   Prescott: Budget shortfall expected to continue (1271 views)

•   Ducey's budget gives JTEDs grant money that slights rural districts, Plumb says (1205 views)

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Find more about Weather in Prescott, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Quick Links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

 •  Submit your milestone notice

 •  Submit your letter to the editor

 •  Submit a news tip or story idea

 •  Place a classified ad online now

 •  Browse the Yellow Pages

Find It Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Links
Classifieds | Subscriber Services | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Find Prescott Jobs | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Contact Us
© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Daily Courier is the information source for Prescott area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Prescott Newspapers Online is a service of Prescott Newspapers Inc. By using the Site, dcourier.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Prescott Newspapers Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved