October brings cooler temperatures, sunny days and the beginning of hiking season in the Phoenix area. Few creatures are happier about this than the adoptable dogs at the Maricopa County Animal Care & Control shelter in Mesa.

That’s because on the first Saturday of every month from October through April, they get to strut their stuff along the Merkel Trail at Usery Mountain Regional Park.

The public is invited to join the four-legged sweeties on these easy, 1-mile Wag & Walk Dog Adoption Hikes and stick around for a meet-and-greet play session at the trailhead. Shelter volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions about each dog’s personality, activity level, trick repertoire and history.

You can even “test drive” the dogs to see how well they behave on a leash. For those wanting a potential canine hiking partner, this is a great opportunity to interact with dogs outside of the kennel environment, where they are more relaxed and better able to display their true character. All participating dogs are  spayed or neutered, current on their shots and ready to go home with you on the spot!

But you don’t have to be considering adoption to join the fun.  

Perhaps you’re thinking about becoming a volunteer or looking for a way to add miles to your 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge, a Maricopa County Parks program that encourages hikers, bikers and horseback riders to log 100 trail miles between Nov. 1, 2017, and Feb. 8, 2018. We can help you with that. So why not double down on the fun?

Where: Meet at Area 6 of Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa.

When: 9 -10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, and the first Saturday of each month through April.

Admission: $6 per vehicle.

Details: Wag & Walk, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events/wag-n-walk-dog-adoption-hike-07. 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge, www.maricopacountyparks.net/things-to-do/activity/100-miles-in-100-days-challenge.

 

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