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Old Town Jail Trail - Cottonwood

Community or County Park
Gateway to the Verde River – Diane Joens

ADA Accessibility Notes

The trail is flat and most of it is free of rocks. Much of it can be accessed by wheelchair.

This area is a delight to anyone living in the Cottonwood area because it is easily accessed off the old jail parking area on Main St. in Old Town Cottonwood. The trail begins by cutting through a Cottonwood riparian area which is surprisingly dense and isolated from the urban town. Soon the trail opens to a rocky washed flood plain of the Verde River and follows the River downstream for approximately mile. Eventually the trail offers the hiker a choice between continuing to Dead Horse Ranch State Park or looping back into Old Town Cottonwood.

The trial is accessed through the City of Cottonwood and passes largely through Arizona State Parks land in Dead Horse Ranch State Park but it has a newly constructed loop return into and through the City of Cottonwood into Historic Old Town. This is a perfect example of how a collaboration between a state agency and a local municipality will develop and open a wonderful natural area to the general public. In that regard, the Jail Trail presents a unique opportunity to take an easy but beautiful hike, observe many bird species, and enjoy glass of wine and still walk back to your car with retracing your footsteps.

Pet Friendly Notes

Leashed pets are always welcome.

Recreational Opportunities

This trail, right in downtown (Old Town) Cottonwood, provides an easy hour of hiking through a dense riparian forest, a Verde River flood zone, and a dense willow river's edge. Not only that, but the entrance is next to the charming Wild Rose Tea House where you can sample wonderful teas on their patio overlooking the trail head. Where else can you begin a hike with gourmet tea and end with local wines?

The Jail Trail is a birder's delight! During the spring especially you can watch Summer Tanagers, Western Tanagers, Bullock's Orioles, Lazuli Buntings, and so much more! All this is less than 5 minutes from your car!


Seasons Accessible

Parking is available in a free municipal lot next to the Tea House right on Main Street in Old Town Cottonwood. This trail is easily hiked at all times during the year. The birding is great during the Spring and you can spend quite a while under the Myrtle trees at the very head of the trail.



No fees

Nearby Places