Arizona may be desert, but a couple hours south of Tucson is a large amount of water! You’re able to walk within feet of the reservoir/lake’s water as you hike the 4.9 miles around Parker Canyon Lake. Other people will also be walking, fishing, bird-watching, or kayaking/boating on the lake. I could imagine this place very busy on a weekend.
The trail is rocky, along the canyon’s edge and in other sections flat dirt. Watch your footing and not the birds at the same time! Across the lake I saw three deer at the lake edge to drink water.
Waterfowl were seen in different areas of the lake. American coots seemed to be the most numerous; however, there were also bufflehead, Northern shovelers, American wigeons, and mallards (with a buff-colored one hanging with the mallards). In the trees some other birds along with black phoebe and Mexican jay. Did not see a Mexican gartersnake … yet found their sign informative!
There are places to relax along the trail, benches provided in a couple of places. One sign mentioned a bald eagle had nested in this area at one time. Saw no eagle on this day! I liked seeing the container to recycle the monofilament used for fishing.
If you are looking for a day trip then head to Parker Canyon Lake. Renting a fishing boat or kayak will necessitate a visit Thursday – Sunday when the store is open for service, but quieter times are the other days. A campground is a short distance away with RV and trailers in one loop, and tent only sites in another loop with those having nice views of the lake.