Hike at Roper Lake
There are a few trails that lead from the camping areas to the lake but they aren't really hiking trails. The only real hiking trail is the Mariah Mesa Trail. It leads up a slight rise to a mesa (a flat plateau) that offers some decent views of the lake and the area around the park. The trail is not very long and is fairly easy. There is also a short nature trail with numbers corresponding to a little booklet that identifies the plants you see. Good walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, water, weather appropriate clothing.
Dankworth Pond State Park
Dankworth Pond State Park is a subcomponent of Roper Lake State Park. The fishing in the 15 lake surface acres is reported to be better than at Roper Lake. There is a playground for the kids, picnic areas, interpretive signs along the hiking trail and a very nice display showing Native American dwellings from the area throughout history. More details follow.
Basaic Safford Page
"Old Town Safford"
Safford has a pretty nice Historic District. It is mainly along a 5 block expanse along Main Street. The first stop is the impressive Neo-Colonial brick building housing the Graham County Court House. The court house was built in 1916 at a cost of over $44,000. It still functions as a county office building today. There are 28 total sites on the Safford Historic Tour.
"Roper Lake State Park"
Another attraction near Safford is the Roper Lake State Park and its annex Dankworth Pond. Roper Lake offers 30 surface acres of water for swimming, boating and fishing. Try it for sailboarding, canoeing or just plain relaxing. After hiking the trails, relax those tired bones in the natural stone hot tub. Enjoy the beauty of the day use island. Catch some of the fish that are regularly stocked in the lake. Make use of one of the three camping areas.
Dankworth Pond also offers good fishing, with 15 lake surface acres. There is a playground for the kids, picnic areas, interpretive signs along the hiking trail and a very nice display showing Native American dwellings from the area throughout history.
Safford is also near the Black Hills Back Country Byway, a 21-mile-long back-road drive through the rugged Black Hills, and lots of other natural beauty.
Also near Safford is the Discovery Park. Discovery Park is under the control of the Eastern Arizona University, and is designed to provide educational opportunities to learn about science. There were two main highlights for me. There is a nice deep water pond where you can observe the wildlife, complete with a bird blind. The most interesting thing though was the Gov Aker Observatory. It has a very interesting display showing beliefs from around the world about the formation of the universe, displays on some of the leading scientists from the past like Gallileo and Einstein, information about how telescopes are made and several other displays. Listen to the sounds of the universe as collected by a radio telescope, or experience one of the world's largest Camera Obscuras. The park also has a 20 inch telescope.