Story and photos by Stan Bindell
Exercise and a healthy diet can help ward off diabetes and some other ills. The 100-mile club began on Hopi awhile back to promote healthy lifestyles. As a hiker, I do more than 200 miles per year. This year I hope to hit the 365-mile mark in order to average one mile per day. I know some hikers who average more than 100 miles per week. We each have to decide what is the right amount of exercise for us. To promote exercise, hiking, a love of nature and cool points of Arizona this weekly column will appear throughout the summer.
GOLDWATER LAKE, PRESCOTT, Ariz. - Goldwater Lake offers plenty for those who want a short hike whether they have a lot of time or want to do it quickly.
The hike around most of the lake is less than two miles. Hikers can't do the entire circle of the lake because they can't cross the dam, but they can walk up to the end of each side. This lake sits at a tad more than 6,000 feet surrounded by tall ponderosa pine trees so it is cool respite during the summer.
Still, there is plenty to see here. There are plenty of butterflies, moths and multi-colored dragonflies to go along with the flowers, cattails and other fauna surrounding the lake. Boats can be rented here and the lake has been stocked so those who love fishing will also have a good time.
Grandson Chris Basham and I took in the nature sites as we saw a unique butterfly as well as some orange and other white and black dragonflies. I've never been to this lake without seeing a woodpecker and this trip was no different.
According to the Arizona Wildlife Viewing Guide, this lake has blue heron, American coot, double crested cormorant, common merganser, ring-necked duck, mallard, bald eagle, osprey, northern flicker, hairy and acorn woodpeckers, Stellar's jay, mountain chickadee white breasted and pygmy nuthatches, brown creeper and dark-eyed junco.
For those looking for something more strenuous, the trail goes into Prescott National Forest after about one mile and for those wanting something more extreme, the nine-mile Groom Creek Loop isn't far down the road. The Groom Creek Loop is known for its scenic views. It is also nestled with ponderosa pines.