Recreation

Land Full of Recreational Opportunities

The Rim Country offers just about any activity an outdoor lover could want.  Within the Rim Country is the Tonto National Forest, the largest national forest in the southwest (2.8 million acres).  Some of the more popular outdoor activities below and on top of  the Mogollon Rim include hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, mountain biking and motorcycling.  Summer weekends bring many motorcycle riders to the area to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the serene, peaceful ride that cannot be found within a metropolitan area.

Also during summer weekends the many campgrounds in the forest are often filled by Thursday evening, and the population of the Payson area explodes to 1.5 times its normal number.  There is even a developed campground where horse lovers have accommodations for their horses right next to the camp area; this campground also has access to developed trails that provide beautiful riding opportunities.  For the people who don't like camping, there are areas within the national forest that offer summer cabin living.  And for the weekender, there are cabins that can be rented – but don't wait until the last minute – these cabins fill up quickly.  For the person who doesn't like "roughing it," the motels in Payson and Pine, or rental cabins in other areas of the Rim Country offer more civilized accommodations.

Hunting in the Rim Country

Arizona is a great place for hunters, especially in the Rim Country.  The area abounds with trophy elk, along with mule and coeur deer.  Hunters can also find turkey, javelina, black bear and mountain lion. 

And just a short drive from the Rim Country, hunters are offered the opportunity to bag a mountain sheep or an antelope.  There are even two buffola ranches within 2-4 hours drive from the Rim Country where a certain number of the herd are offered each year through buffalo permits.

For the hunter whose choice of weapon is a camera, there are ring-tailed cats, coyotes, fox and, of course, the smaller animals such as skunk, raccoon, squirrel, etc.  And the backdrop offered in the largest Ponderosa pine stand of trees in the world is outstanding.

Golf

Due to so many sunny days in Arizona, the Phoenix and Tucson areas are known to golf-lovers; the Rim Country should not be left out.  There are two gated golf communities in Payson, both of which boast award-winning, 18-hole golf courses.  To play on the Rim or Chaparral golf courses, a person must own property in the communities, or be an invited guest.  For the person who does not own property in either of the gated communities, Payson has an 18-hole golf course open to the public.  And for the golf-lover who can't get enough, it is just a short 90-mile ride to the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix and surrounding communities), which boasts more golf courses than a person could ever dream of playing.

Festivals in Payson, Pine and Strawberry

Payson and the Pine-Strawberry area offer many festivals during the summer season, some of them known across Arizona and beyond.  Besides being a great family park, there are many fun activities for people of all ages at Green Valley Park in Payson.  The weekly Saturday night outdoor concerts at Green Valley Park have been a popular event for everyone, as well as the annual Fourth of July fireworks and accompanying fun events.  At Christmas time the festive lighting ceremony of the Swiss Village, the weekend following Thanksgiving, draws people from far and near, and Main Street leaves few open spaces along it when the annual Christmas Light Parade passes by the first Saturday evening in December. 

World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo

The rodeo arena on the south side of Payson is the home of several rodeos, two of which are PRCA events. Located just across the Beeline Highway from the rodeo grounds is the Mazatzal Casino operated by the Tonto Apache Indians.  These two localities can provide an entire day of entertainment all within walking distance.

The Arts

The beautiful environment and peaceful allure of the Rim Country has drawn a long list of internationally-recognized artists to the area to make this home.  These fine artists work in all mediums:  sculpture, woodworking, jewelry and pottery.  Other "arts" also receive support in the area.  Several professional concerts are presented locally by nationally-known performing artists.  The Payson Choral Society, comprised of 50 semi-professional voices,  presents semi-annual concerts, and the Rim Civic Orchestra presents six performances each year.  There are groups in the Rim Country which include many arts and craft guilds and the Tonto Community Concert Series provides Broadway-quality acts for a nominal fee.    

Other Opportunites within Short Range

The Payson airport, located in the north part of Payson, offers one of the favorite places for Arizona pilots to fly for Saturday breakfast.  There is also a campground at the airport which can be used as a stopover for the pilot on a longer trip.

If skiing is a favorite past time, downhill skiing is available in Show Low or Flagstaff, both just 90 minutes from Payson, while cross country skiing can be enjoyed just a short 45 minute drive from town.  If water skiing is the sport of choice, Roosevelt Lake, 40 miles south of Payson, offers the perfect place for skiing, as well as fishing.

For the person who wants a more peaceful,serene place to fish, one of the seven lakes along the Rim provides just that, with many of those lakes being stocked on a regular basis by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

In other words, the Rim Country offers about any activity a person could want.  And what can't be found in the Rim Country or within a short distance can usually be found in the Phoenix metropolitan area just a short 90-minute ride away.

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Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty
715 South Beeline Hwy. • Payson, AZ 85541
Phone: (928) 970-1215 • Toll Free: (800) 945-1082
Fax: (888) 488-1118