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Woman hiking on a trail with saguaro cacti in the background



Winter is an ideal time to explore the outdoors – well before the heat of summer hits! Take a spin at some of these local favorite hot spots in Gilbert.

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Not only is this preserve a beautiful place to visit, but it’s educational as well. You’ll learn about Arizona’s ecology and natural history, get to enjoy 110 acres of the most beautiful land in the state, and spend time with nearly 300 species of birds. Go with a pair of binoculars and spend a leisurely afternoon getting to know the local avifauna or take a stroll along the 4.5 miles of beautiful hiking trails.

Freestone Park

Locals love this 88-acre park for its beauty and abundant recreational opportunities. It features two reclaimed water lakes with fishing opportunities, adult softball fields, sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, a skate park, amphitheater, checkerboards, playgrounds, and batting cages. Best of all, you don’t have to go far to reach this little piece of heaven.

Discovery Park

This site, where the fossils of a Columbian Mammoth were found during the park’s construction, shares similar features with Freestone Park, but also has a butterfly garden, equestrian trails, and a self-directed learning path.

Central Trail System

Gilbert’s 135-mile trail system is one of the most beloved features of the community. This system is made up of four trails – Heritage, Santan Vista, Marathon, and Western Powerline. These trails run parallel to the city’s canals, and connect the local parks and preserves. You’ll find equestrian trails here, as well as 54 miles of bike trails for cycling enthusiasts.

Zanjero Park

Well-known with locals as an equestrian hot spot, you don’t have to have horses to enjoy this beautiful park. If you’d rather go on your own two feet, you can take in the beautiful desert scenery in this 20-acre park with a jog or hike. Just remember to bring plenty of water. And if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a burrowing owl – this is protected habitat to help encourage their repopulation.

Arizona Goat Yoga

Yeah, this is a thing – and it all started here in Gilbert. These folks want to get people out in the fresh air, spending time with animals (primarily goats, of course), and getting their bodies moving. As they say on their website, come play!

For tips on what to wear on your outdoor adventures, check out The Big Outside

For more places to check out and things to do in and around Gilbert, Arizona, visit the Vistara at SanTan Village blog.