Why is there a Dorothy Benatz Trail?

14 Dec 2020 1:57 PM | Anonymous

BenatzDorothy Benatz moved to Clarkdale in 1938 to work as a secretary at the Clarkdale High School. From there, she moved to Town offices to serve as the Town Clerk for ten years. Following that, she won a seat on the Town Council and served as Mayor from 1980 to 1988.

Every morning, Dorothy walked from her home to Tuzigoot on a self-created trail that followed an old rail bed.  You could set your watch by her daily walks.

The rail bed is a remnant of a line that ran from the Clarkdale depot to Cottonwood, built in 1918.  It was abandoned in the early 1920s.

As the Town had a water line easement on the property, Clarkdale improved the trail in 2007 and opened it for public use.

Today, the trail is popular as its own destination and as a conduit to a network of hiking opportunities.

Visit the trail at the end of Main Street in Lower Clarkdale. Stop and say “hi” to Dorothy at the rock monument placed in her memory.  And watch out for trains!

Have a comment? please email clarkdaleheritage@gmail.com


  • 14 Dec 2020 4:45 PM | Dennis
    Terrific story to bring history to today. I will need to try that trail.
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  • 19 Dec 2020 12:23 PM | FGC
    The bridge on the trail is closed
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    • 19 Dec 2020 9:22 PM | Paul Peck- CHSM volunteer
      I lived in Clarkdale from 2005-2013 and used to walk that trail with my daughter. We went to the old AT&SF trestle, which my daughter called the "bat bridge" because of the bats under it. We loved seeing the rails of the AT&SF left on the south end of the bridge.
      When did it close?
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