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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Brown Canyon Ranch

 I was looking through pictures and realized that I haven't blogged about Brown Canyon Ranch even though we've been there several times.  Brown Canyon Ranch is located southwest of Sierra Vista, adjacent to Fort Huachuca.  It's a popular place for family pictures, hiking, biking and picnicking.  We like visiting there. 
Brown Canyon Ranch is one of the original ranches in the area, that has been converted into a community park of sorts.  Instead of playgrounds though, it's great for recreation and nature lovers.  The old homestead is still there and has been converted into a small museum.

We like walking through the inside, then exiting onto the porch to sit and talk.
Outside near the parking area is the ruin of an old barn.  The roof is gone and much of the walls have fallen, but there's still part of it standing. 
There are numerous agaves, often called century plants, in the area right along the foothills of the Huachuca Mountains.  It's a pretty area and it's close enough to Sierra Vista that it makes a quick getaway in the evening. 

Somewhere around town we picked up a flyer for Brown Canyon Ranch that was published by the Friends of Brown Canyon Ranch.  Whoever wrote it would have you believe that you can be cured from cancer just by walking on the grounds.  I've typed it out and included it below for your enjoyment. 

As you enter the grounds of Brown Canyon Ranch, you are stepping back over one hundred years into history.  It's the way it's been for decades.  Entering the property, an overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility will grab you.
You may start your unique journey by touring the Ranch House.  As you drift from one room to the next in amazement, it will be easy for you to visualize life so long ago, as you'll have numerous visual aids throughout the house to assist you. 
Personnel will aslo be on campus to answer any questions you may have.
With your appetite now calling, it's time to settle in the shade under one of the massive trees that circle the Upper Pond.  As you spread your picnic goodies out on one of the tables, you may meet one of the many friendly visitors that could be hiking, running, riding a horse, or cruising on a mountain bike.  With no motorized vehicles allowed on the premises, the quiet is almost haunting.
After your meal, it could be time to explore the pond in greater detail. 
Using a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope, the diverse wildlife fills one view after another.
With the feeling of total reverence that permeates the air, don't be surprised if the wildlife lands so close to you, you will put your optical aid aside to truly capture the moment for a memory that will last a lifetime.
Become increasingly at one with the sights, sounds, and smells of your pristine surroundings.  You may meet a passerby who tells you about the last annual Open House when the Cavalry marched down the West Trail and proudly strode by the Ranch House where dozens of displays and activites where in full swing as visitors from everywhere were celebrating the family wholesomeness that embodies the ranch.
If there is anything more spectacular than the ranch in the daytime, it is the ranch at night.  Int he blackest of skies, with owls calling and coyotes yelling, you will witnes the cosmos as never before.  The Milky Way will be blazing overhead as it winds its way through one deep space object after another. 
As Brown Canyon Ranch rests in an oasis of beauty, it has it all.  If you have an interest in any aspect of nature, history, recreation, family togetherness, or peacefulness it is here waiting for you. 
You may har of the Western Heritage Program where 4th and 5th graders from virtually all of the elementary schools in the area venture to the ranch on field trips to expand their young horizons.
After viewing in wonderment the ancient windmill still in working condition, the corral area where mighty horses were once kept, and various relics on display, you decide to take a ahort easy walk to the second pond, also loaded with wildlife.
Facing mountians to the west, there is a bench where you can sit and relax, reflect, and finish renewing your spirit.
As you move throughout the ranch, you may occasionally notice large groups of footprints. This could've been the site of a recent wedding, a reception, an anniversary, an educational school visit, a family reunion, a club or organization gathering, or friends meeting to catch up on old times.
Of the few signs posted on the property, what is that one on the wooden railed fence that has an illustration of a frog on it?  Why does it say "Sensitive Habitat Boundary"?  The most rewarding endeavor at the ranch is the ongoing preservation of the wild population of the very much endangered Chiricahua Leopard Frog.  Looking carefully on the surface of the pond for a small patch of bright lime green, you hopefully can spot one soaking up the sunshine.
As another brilliant ethereal sunset marks the end of they day, you will reflect back on everything you experienced. 
From the magical history, to the staggering beauty everywhere, to Nature's many life forms, to the hiking trails so full of opportunity, to the many warm and friendly people, you will leave the pristine setting with a sense  of awe that promises to stay with you.  And as you look back at the ranch from the top of the road, there is an unmistaken lure.  A lure that becons you to return soon.
This beautiful site is kept open to you by The Friends of Brown Canyon Ranch and the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District.

Nearest City: Sierra Vista, AZ
Location: Take Ramsey Canyon Road heading west, then follow the signs to Brown Canyon Ranch
Time Needed: 30 minutes to several hours
Difficulty: easy
Kid Friendly: yes
Additional Info: Friends of Brown Canyon Ranch

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