Tonto National Forest Plans To Improve, Reroute Trails

Published: Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 4:11pm

Tonto National Forest officials are planning to improve and reroute trails in areas of the forest near Payson and Apache Junction. The plan would shift several trails below the Mogollon Rim to more sustainable areas.

Stakeholders and local community groups had been pushing for the improvements, mainly for the Highline Trail near Payson. The trails will be rerouted to areas where there are less sensitive species and less sediment that could be dislodged. 

Angie Abel is a recreation program manager for the Tonto National Forest. She says measures will also be added to prevent motorized vehicle use since that has disturbed sensitive species and knocked sediment into the watershed. 

“That’s always an issue but hopefully that with better signage and increased use, we can work to ensure that that doesn’t happen,” said Abel.

The trails will be intended for hikers, bikers, and horse riders looking for better opportunities in easy-to-find locations. 

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