Patagonia–Sonoita Creek Preserve
Owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy, this 850-acre preserve is located between the Patagonia and Santa Rita Mountains. Thanks to the rich floodplain valley, the Patagonia–Sonoita Creek Preserve is flush with over 200 species of birds. Wednesday through Sunday, 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. April through September; Wednesday through Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. October through March. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Hwy 90 West Bypass 4.5 miles to the intersection of Buffalo Soldier Trail. Turn right (north) on Hwy 90 West, 13 miles; left (west) onto Hwy 82, 31 miles; right (northwest) onto 4th Avenue then left (southwest) onto Pennsylvania Avenue; continue on Blue Heaven Road; entrance on the left. 800-288-3861 or 520-394 -2400.
San Pedro Riparian
National Conservation Area
With nearly 40 miles of riparian vegetation, you will find this national conservation area teeming with plant and animal life. The Riparian Area is highly popular with bird watchers, as over half of the known breeding bird species in the U.S. have been spotted here. Visitors can hike solo or choose from regularly scheduled bird, interpretive, and river walks led by trained docents from the San Pedro House. There are 10 different access locations across the 56,000-acre preserve to explore. Start your exploration from the San Pedro House, where docents will provide you with information on trails, habitat, petroglyphs, and ghost towns. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, dogs, and licensed hunters are welcome. Hwy 90 East 8 miles; turn right (south) to the San Pedro House. 800-288-3861 or 520-508-4445 (San Pedro House).
Parker Canyon Lake
Set within the gently rolling hills and surrounded by the majestic western Huachuca Mountains, this 132-acre lake and recreation site offers fully accessible fishing opportunities as well as facilities for physically challenged anglers. Its marina has a deep angled boat ramp for easy launching. Boats are limited to one 10 horsepower motor; fishing license required. There is a 65-unit campground adjacent to the lake. Camping, $10 per day. Hwy 90 West Bypass 4.5 miles to the intersection of Buffalo Soldier Trail. Turn right (north) on Hwy 90 West, 13 miles; left (west) onto Hwy 82, travel 19 miles; left (south) onto Hwy 83, 29 miles to S. Parker Canyon Road; entrance on the left. 800-288-3861 or 520-378-0311 (Sierra Vista Ranger Station).