Second Saturdays are free fun in the Tortolitas

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Hiking isn’t meant to be a solo sport. It’s safer and more enjoyable when done in groups of people who enjoy the outdoors and relish the chance to make friends on the trails.

The Town of Marana makes that happen several times a year with guided trips that bring together hikers for fun and exercise. The free hikes are held the second Saturday of every month from September through May in the Tortolita Mountains.

Groups meet at 8 a.m. at the Wild Burro Trailhead near the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain (14810 North Secret Springs Drive). The hikes are between 3 and 6 miles and feature varied elevation gain.

“We want to make these hikes fun and accessible for anyone who wants to participate,” said Marana Parks and Recreation Director Tom Ellis.

Some dedicated hikers got hooked on the activity by participating in the program.

“My introduction to the Tortolitas was through the Town of Marana during one of the Saturday hikes,” said Jim Phillips, a Dove Mountain resident. “That was my very first hike, five years ago. I didn’t realize how beautiful it was out there. It’s quiet and peaceful and there’s lot to see.”

Participants should be physically fit. Children under 18 must be accompanied by adult and pets are not allowed on the guided hikes.

For more information on the Town’s free guided hiking program, please click here or call 382-1950.

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