SRRTF Inspires Diverse Groups to Care for the Trails

1 Jan 2024 8:29 PM | Camille Cox (Administrator)

An old adage says it takes a village to raise a child. In the case of Sedona’s Red Rock trails, it takes more than a village. And the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund does many things to inspire and involve different groups to get involved.

According to a recently completed census report, our trails are enjoyed annually by over 2.2 million hikers, bikers and equestrians. As well as more than 111,000 dogs! The base of financial supporters that deliver the essential funding is also diverse – including individuals, businesses, family foundations, the City of Sedona and the state of Arizona. This shared commitment to our system is a real testament to the important role it plays in our enjoined lives. Inspiring scenery, healthy outdoor activity, connection to nature and more.

Two recent events illustrate how the Trail Fund brings folks together to connect with the trails and each other. The first was a joint volunteer work day with the Arizona Trailblazers, a Phoenix-based hiking club. The Trailblazers rose early on a Saturday morning and ventured north to join forces with some of our local groups to do maintenance work on the Doe and Bear Mountain Trails. Under the leadership of Seth Bennet from the Red Rock Ranger District, participants shouldered hoes and lopping shears and hauled up Doe Mountain, clearing drains and pruning overgrowth. Next, up Bear Mountain to clear more drains.

Li Li, the Trailblazers vice president, expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to give back to the Red Rock trails. The Trailblazers have done work days elsewhere, but Li said this was one of the best experiences to date, providing a first-hand experience of the work that goes into repairing and maintaining trails. Sandi Heysinger, vice president of SRRTF and organizer of the event, offered that the newfound relationship with the Trailblazers will be a model for joint activities with other outdoor recreation groups in the future.

Veterans Get Involved    On November 11th – Veterans Day – the Trail Fund hosted another work day that drew over 50 participants to the Soldiers Pass trailhead. A great showing of local veterans came to participate along with other local volunteers. After the rocks were moved and bushes pruned, the party moved to Posse Grounds for a picnic lunch that included a tribute cake for the vets and music from the local group, Slide Rock. The Thunder Mountain Grillers provided hamburgers and hotdogs, Trail Lovers: MTB Guides of Sedona provided drinks, and the Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition provided pizza to round out the celebration.

Richard Zahner, retired Lt. General US Army, gave inspirational remarks to the group and joined in the work and celebration. An added bonus was a raffle of hiking accessories donated by Canyon Outfitters, The Hike House, Danner Boots, Kahtoola and Thunder Mountain Bikes.

Recent Grant Wins Boost Funding   In recent months, the SRRTF grants committee, chaired by Sophia Sweeny, was awarded grants from ACF Sedona ($8,500), the Fruhman Family Foundation ($5,000), the Langston Family Foundation ($5,000), Athletic Brewing ($10,000), and the Mountain Bike Assoc. of AZ ($2,000). Once again, the diversity of generous support is a testament to the broad appeal of the trails and the reach of SRRTF’s work to secure funding.

The new year includes new projects, new maintenance activities and the need for renewed funding sources. The organization is celebrating its 10th year of trail stewardship and is looking forward to working with anyone with a desire to support and nurture our vibrant Red Rock trail system. For more information, please visit the website at

Photo: The AZ Trailblazers Hiking Club from Phoenix came up to help with trail maintenance, organized by SRRTF VP/Director Sandi Heysinger (far right).

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