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Roper Lake, jr.
Dankworth Pond State Park, 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. The pond is stocked with catfish, bass, bluegill, red-ear sunfish, and crappie during the winter. It seems to be popular with birds and local anglers 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.
The loop trail passes through a grove of cottonwoods and salt cedars 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!
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