News Flash


Posted on: February 15, 2023

Board of Supervisors Approves Fort Tuthill County Park Management Plan

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At their February 6, 2023 special session, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved the Coconino County Parks and Recreation Fort Tuthill County Park Management Plan.

In the fall of 2022, the public was able to provide comment on the draft of the Fort Tuthill County Park Management Plan, which were factored into the final draft. The plan’s table of contents include the natural environment of the park, cultural resources and history, public use and facilities, and long-range planning. These topics address issues as varied as dark skies, weed control, emergency use, water conservation, preserving open spaces from damage, and preserving historic structures. 

Jessica Simmons, Urban Wildlife Planner for Coconino County Parks and Recreation and author of the Fort Tuthill Management Plan said, “This plan will help CCPR manage Fort Tuthill appropriately as times change. This plan looks at recreation, trail management, events, open space vs. developed areas of the park, cultural resources, and much more. Looking into the future, the plan also addresses population growth, increasing development around the park, and climate change. This will be a useful tool to help manage and protect this wonderful, unique park and make it the best experience for our visitors as possible.”

Fort Tuthill County Park has many unique features which make it a community hub and visitation site. The Bike Park is a beloved recreation site for cyclists who enjoy the many features that are especially designed for bicycle practice. The park’s historic, military buildings support events, such as the Celtic Festival, Pickin’ in the Pines, Overland Expo, and the Coconino County Fair, which attract tens of thousands of visitors from Coconino County and beyond. The park also contains horse stables and an arena for equestrians. There are rentable indoor and outdoor spaces for community events, and there is even an archery range. Coconino County Parks and Recreation holds many programs at Fort Tuthill, from archery classes and guided hikes to culinary lessons in the winter. The Fort Tuthill County Park supports many kinds of recreation, entertainment, and opportunities for learning.

“Ft Tuthill is a gem of Coconino County. Our management plan ensures that we plan for its future for all to enjoy for years to come,” commented Supervisor for District 1, Patrice Horstman.   

There are many partnerships that make Fort Tuthill a destination in Northern Arizona. Partnerships with concessionaires include the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course, Flagstaff Snow Park, the campground, and R Entertainment, which brings concerts and shows to the Amphitheater. 

The park supports an influx of visitation every winter for winter recreation, as well as those utilizing the campground and ramadas in the summer. Fort Tuthill is located near the busy Interstate 17, bringing visitors to and from such destinations as Sedona and Grand Canyon, or travelling to Flagstaff for snow play in the winters and to escape the summer heat. Fort Tuthill also supported the community during the wildfires and floods of 2022, providing an emergency animal shelter space for community members that had to evacuate their homes. Flagstaff itself is growing, and with the increased population comes increased development, including a new medical center that will be constructed next to Fort Tuthill County Park. With so many events, programs, and community needs, from supporting the 40,000 attendees of the Coconino County Fair to the continued need for open spaces and conservation, it was necessary to ensure the park is managed well and with a vision for future generations.

Cynthia Nemeth, Parks and Recreation Director, said, “The Fort Tuthill Management Plan will guide Coconino County Parks and Recreation in serving the community by providing recreation, open space, conservation, and community opportunities at Fort Tuthill County Park. This plan allows us to adapt to changes and the needs of a growing community, whether visitors are visiting events like the County Fair or enjoying time in nature on the trails.”

Fort Tuthill County Park is the oldest of Coconino County’s parks and is a 621-acre, wooded park located 3 miles south of Flagstaff. It contains important open space in its ponderosa pine forest, which provides habitat, shelter, and forage for wildlife in the region. It is also one of 30 watchable wildlife viewing sites within 30 miles of Flagstaff. Visitors may enjoy the surrounding woodlands through the Fort Tuthill trail system, whether by walking, hiking, jogging, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or through equestrian use. Information about Fort Tuthill County Park and a link to the Fort Tuthill County Park Management Plan may be found at The park is located at 2446 Fort Tuthill Loop, Flagstaff, AZ 86005, 928-679-8000. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the park and help keep it beautiful for future generations by remembering to Leave No Trace and to Recreate Responsibly. 

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