Nestled between a leisurely stretch of the Verde River and open grasslands shaded by cottonwood trees sits the site of Arizona’s soon-to-be newest state park: Rockin’ River Ranch. It’s near the start of where Verde River is “wild and scenic,” a federal designation that grants special protections.
Once complete, Rockin’ River Ranch will provide visitors access to one of Arizona’s most unique and pristine natural landscapes, as well as enhanced opportunities for outdoor recreational activities. More than one mile of riverfront will provide access for fishing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing; stables and hiking trails will connect visitors to Prescott National Forest; camping grounds and cabins will provide lodging for overnight guests; previously cultivated fields will lend space for community events; and did we mention the horses?
“This will make it the sixth state park in the Verde Valley,” said Yavapai County District 2 Supervisor Thomas Thurman.
The Verde River is one of only two waterways in Arizona to be granted that title, the other being Fossil Creek. Currently, Arizona State Parks and Trails is taking special care to preserve the natural beauty of the ranch, and local community input is being sought on park amenities and design.
“We are working diligently, in coordination with the community, to keep the park a picturesque place for all to explore,” said Sue Black, executive director of Arizona State Parks and Trails.
Arizona State Parks purchased Rockin’ River Ranch in 2008. The property comprises more than 200 acres along the Verde River and part of the Verde River Greenway.
The park is slated to open in December 2018.
Where is it?