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Vacation for Both Sides of the Border

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Just south of Tucson near the hills of Nogales, Ariz., lies Patagonia Lake, which is a popular vacation spot for communities on both sides of the border.  Patagonia Lake is the centerpiece of the Patagonia Lake State Park.  The campground overlooks a 265 acre man-made lake full of bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill, and in the winter trout is stocked every three weeks from October to March, according to theArizona State Parks website.

Patagonia Lake is in close proximity to Nogales, Ariz. Community members from both sides of the border can enjoy some fun in the sun on the beautiful lake.

"There are more Americans that vacation here," said Erma Carrillo, a marina staff member at the Patagonia Lake State Park.  "But I'd say about 20 to 30 percent of vacationers each year are from across the border."

Patagonia Lake State Park brings many different enjoyable and exciting activities to southern Arizona.  On the lake, many people enjoy fishing year round.  The Patagonia Lake marina offers rentals for canoes, kayaks, paddleboats and rowboats, as well as motorized boats.  Of course, swimming is allowed, although the lake is considered 'wild water,' so swimmers do so at their own risk.  Also, fishing supplies, bait and other boating and camping gear are all sold in the lakeside market, according to the Arizona State Parks website.

There is a half-mile hiking trail that leads through Sonoita Creek State Natural Area, which is the next door neighbor to Patagonia Lake State Park.  This hiking trail leads you to a very popular birding area.  Also, the park offers horse trails for all you who love horseback riding.

Like any state park, environmental issues are apparent throughout the campgrounds.  From dangerous fishing supplies left out for animals to eat, to excessive trash on the campgrounds, Patagonia Lake can be a cleaner place with help from everyone.

"Fishing line left in the water and by the lake can be a problem," said Carrillo.  "They get caught on the boat's motor.  Birds can eat the line or hooks left out from fishermen.  The birds sometimes use it for a nest, which is the only positive in this situation."

Trash is often left on the campgrounds from vacationers and not enough people recycle, mentioned Carrillo.  Being conscious enough to recycle proper materials and disposing of trash can really help the park stay clean and safe for animals and everyone alike.

Here's a map of Patagonia Lake State Park:


Written by Kevin Prosise You are reading Vacation for Both Sides of the Border articles

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