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Lake Pleasant

By Becky Ogden

Lake Pleasant is the crown jewel of the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation department.  In addition to the lake and all of the activities that water affords, the park also has a Visitor’s Center, the Desert Outdoor Center, lots of hiking trails, and holds a variety of classes and special events throughout the year.  Even though we’ve been in Peoria for almost four years, we’ve only been up to Lake Pleasant a few times, and we’ve never been to the Visitor’s Center.

My son needed to find ten pieces evidence of wildlife to satisfy a requirement for making Second Class rank in Boy Scouts.  I decided we’d go up to Lake Pleasant, armed with my digital camera, in search of it.  Our first stop was the Visitor’s Center.

The inside of the Visitor’s Center has a huge wall of mounted fish, a large scale model of the park, items for sale, some wildlife in aquarium style tanks, and other information….

On the back deck of the Visitor’s Center, the park has two informational plaques about native plants and native wildlife, a telescope and a place to pan for gold.

The view from the back deck is stunning….

After the Visitor’s Center, we drove further back into the park for an easy 1/2 mile hike along the Pipeline Trail, where we were able to find for Jarrod all 10 signs of native wildlife.

Next on my wish list?  A small boat to come up more often and enjoy the lake.

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Reprinted with permission from Just Field Trips

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