The San Pedro Trail is a long distance trail that parallels the river though most of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. When completed, it will be approximately 30 miles long. Two trail sections can be accessed from the San Pedro House:
San Rafael del Valle section begins just south of the San Pedro House and heads south to Hereford Road (8 miles).
Clanton section begins just north of Hwy 90. It goes north, past the ruins of the Clanton Ranch (3 miles) to Escapule Rd, (3.6 miles).
Begin at the San Pedro House and follow the interpretive loop signs to the river and back.
San Pedro House a historic ranch house restored by the Friends of the San Pedro River is a bookstore and gift shop run by volunteers.
The Big Cottonwood Tree (west of the house) is not as old as you might think. Cottonwoods grow very quickly in favorable conditions. This one is estimated to be between 90 and 130 years old. The cottonwood behind the house was planted in 1956.
Abandoned agricultural fields dominate the landscape here. They were once used for growing alfalfa and other feed for cattle. Native vegetation is steadily returning as can be seen along the Del Valle Trail.
The Riparian Forest, one of the most endangered forest types in the world, is a stark contrast to the adjacent fields. The cottonwood and willow trees provide essential habitat for a variety of wildlife, including over 350 species of birds. The trees and other riparian vegetation also promote soil deposition, which overtime, will refill the incised channel.
Linear Pools often form along rivers providing excellent habitat for turtles, frogs and fish. They are created by a wash coming into the river, thick vegetative growth or changes in underground geology.
Kingfisher Pond was created years ago when this area was a sand and gravel quarry. The large hole created by the operation eventually filled up with ground and flood water. There are no surface inlets or outlets. Green Kingfishers are often seen along its edge.
Oxbows are semi-circles of trees created when the river was in a different channel. Young Cottonwoods sprout only in very wet conditions. Oxbows show us where the river once flowed.
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