Dankworth Pond State Park, which is a part of the Arizona State Park system, was built around a riparian area at the base of the Pinaleno Mountains in eastern Arizona. The park's main attraction is Dankworth Pond
, which is fed by water from an artesian hot spring.
There is a 2 mile loop trail that winds through the park, known as the Dos Arroyos Trail. Along its course are Dankworth Pond and a small, recently constructed village of prehistoric Native American dwellings. These dwellings are typical of Safford area sites, and showcase both Apache and Mogollon construction styles.
From the entrance to Dankworth Park, a path wanders past picnic tables toward Dankworth Pond. Water from the artesian hot spring trickles down a shallow trough at the park's entrance into the 15 acre pond. Unfortunately, there are not any hot pools large enough to soak in.
Cottonwood trees and a thick ring of cattails almost disguise Dankworth Pond's artificial origin. The pond was constructed by Arnold Dankworth over fifty years ago as a catfish hatchery. Later on, he sold it to the Arizona State Park system. During the winter the pond is stocked with catfish, bass, bluegill, red-ear sunfish and crappie. It seems to be popular with birds and local fishermen alike.
The path along the pond's edge soon arrives at a sign for the Dos Arroyos Trail. Hang a left and follow it down into the dry wash of Jacobson Creek, where interpretive signs begin to describe the area. A short distance later, a sign for Dankworth Village will mark the location of a side trail to the top of a small mesa, where the dwelling exhibit is located. The village is a short, half mile round trip hike.
Continuing on, the loop trail passes through a grove of cottonwoods and salt cedars that are watered by overflow from Dankworth Pond. The trail crosses a couple of wooden bridges here, before arriving back at the pond itself.
If you fish, bring a pole and a fishing license. Take in the views of the Pinaleno mountain range that rises 8000 feet above you. Relax, and enjoy!