Writer Amanda Christmann Larson
Winding through the desert on dusty paths embellished with stones worn smooth by time and seasons, it is easy to feel the sacred connection innate to man and the natural world. Light breezes dance over skin, gently playing with strands of hair and grass, bringing scents of raw earth across ridges and expanses and into nostrils, where they fill the lungs with their ageless essence.
Indeed, passing through the vastness of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve land, it is easy to get lost in nature. But human history, too, has something to offer – something equally worth preserving.
In late October, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and the City of Scottsdale dedicated the Brown’s Ranch trailhead, which connects 60 official miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails in the northernmost corridor of one of the largest urban preserves in the country. Brown’s Ranch trailhead, named for the Brown family who lived and worked on much of the land, is one of...