Anchored by gorgeous Lake Pleasant, Peoria is jam- packed with fun and enticing recreational activities and attractions RECREATION by ANDREA MARTOWITZ Get Out and Play 20 PEORIA, ARIZONA • www. visitpeoriaaz. com F ew cities in the Valley offer as rich a cocktail of recreational oppor-tunities and amenities as Peoria. Whether its biking or boating, hiking or rock- climbing, there's always an activ-ity waiting for you! On the water Peoria is the proud gateway to Lake Pleasant Regional Park, which hosts a 10,000- acre lake that's the area's " Jewel in the Desert." Go boating, hiking, picnicking, fishing, scuba diving, water skiing and camping. Familiarize yourself with the area's natural habitat at the Desert Outdoor Learning Center. Be sure to catch the park's special events, which include ranger- led day and nighttime lake tours by kayak or canoe. " It is beautiful watching the full moon reflect off the lake," said Ruth McCormick, the park's events coordi-nator. McCormick also recommended the Dam Good Run — a once- a- year opportunity to walk over Waddell Dam, the first Saturday in April — and the annual Campground Cookoff, the first Saturday in November. During summer months hunt scorpions after dark with black lights and watch them glow. " Kids love it," McCormick said. When you crave deluxe accommoda-tions, try Lake Pleasants' two private marinas. The new 5- star, state- of- the-art Scorpion Bay Marina and Yacht Club will have a floating restaurant, convenience store and deli, and live entertainment and " docktail" parties. Although the Pleasant Harbor Marina is private, it's open to the public for launching boats, fishing, hiking, picnick-ing, shopping and hooking up campers in its 5- star RV resort. Hike, bike and the like! Hiking and biking opportunities are always just around the corner at one of Peoria's 29 parks and recreational facili-ties, with 35 miles of easy to challenging interconnecting urban and scenic desert trails. For spectacular views try the new West Wing and Sunrise Mountain Trails. Feeder trails, on which you can walk, bike and rollerblade from neighbor-hoods to schools, commercial centers and the Park and Ride, also connect with the city's major park and mountain trail systems. These feeder trails are a welcome " green" solution for " people who are looking to save on fuel or trying to help the environment," said Kirk Haines, city of Peoria parks manager. After your trek, cool off with a dunk in one of Peoria's three public swimming pools, or relax under the soothing hands of a specialist at the luxurious Dolce Spa. Hone your climbing skills on the climbing wall at the award- winning Rio Vista Recreation Center inside Rio Vista Community Park. Maintain a healthy life-style while you enjoy the facility's indoor racket courts, gymnasiums, and exercise, TOP: Windsurfing on Lake Pleasant. ABOVE: Young skates practice at Polar Ice Peoria. RIGHT: Keeping cool at one of Peoria's three public swimming pools.
PEORIA, ARIZONA 21 TOP: Blackstone Hacienda Clubhouse, in northern Peoria, overlooks the gorgous Jim Engh- designed golf course. ABOVE: Peoria has more than 35 miles of hiking trails offering spectacular views. RIGHT: Lake Pleasant, which offers many outdoor activites, is one of Arizona's true treasures.