Where to go:
- Dreamy Draw Recreation Area, 2421 E. Northern Ave. The photos above are from the Dreamy Draw area. It's seldom crowded and you can find miles of trails for mountain biking, hiking and running.
- Piestewa Peak, 2701 E. Squaw Peak Drive. The first time I hiked this trail was in seventh grade. Our school went to the mountain on a field trip, and any student who made it to the summit was rewarded. That hike sparked my love of hiking.
- Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa. I've only hiked there once because it's on the complete opposite side of town and I had many other options much closer to me when I lived in Phoenix. It offers a different viewpoint of the Valley that is worth the hike to see. Try Wind Cave trail for a shorter, not-too-difficult trek.
- South Mountain, 10919 S. Central Ave., Phoenix. I love the view of the city lights after sunset. But the view is nice any time of day. I've tried running on the trails, and the workout was intense. I haven't even made a dent on the list of trails to take at the park.
- White Tank Mountain Regional Park, 20304 W. White Tank Mountain Road
Waddell. Try the waterfall hike after a rainy day to actually see water flowing.