Sometimes wilderness calls. But sometimes it doesn’t.
For many of us, there are days when we seek a short, soothing, scenic walk in natural surroundings without venturing onto a long, challenging trail.
Two words: McDonald Park.
A multiple-use trail at the Pima County park, 4100 N. Harrison Road, winds 0.7 of a mile through mesquite groves and along a sandy wash, with postcard views of the Catalina Mountains along the way.
Trek the surfaced trail — which loops around ball fields, basketball courts, playgrounds and picnic areas — and you’re likely to see birds, wildflowers and possibly a coyote or other wildlife.
Wildlife sightings are most common in the early morning or late afternoon hours.
A tree-lined arroyo is just off the trail in the northwestern part of McDonald Park, inviting a side ramble along the sandy watercourse.
You might share the trail with other users, including runners and moms pushing infants in strollers.
To reach the park, take Tanque Verde Road to the Catalina Highway and follow the highway northeast to Harrison Road, then drive north on Harrison Road about a mile to the park entrance.