It’s a beautiful autumn in Pine-Strawberry this year! The combination of abundant rain this summer and the lovely cool temperatures we’ve enjoyed this fall, particularly in the nighttime, has resulted in a glorious display of fall colors for the cottonwood, aspen, maple and oak trees in our area.
Some of the best spots for viewing fall foliage include the drive between Payson and Pine, particularly near the East Verde River, downtown Pine, Cedar Meadow (between Mistletoe and Pine Creek Canyon Road), and the west end of Ralls Road (off SR 87, at the north end of town.) You’re welcome to stop by Sunny Mountain Realty in the little yellow cottage next-door to the Ponderosa Market for directions, an area map, and/or additional suggestions.
If you’re interested, the remaining weekends in October as well as the first couple of weeks in November should be great for enjoying the sights and scents of fall. Don’t wait too long, though, because the leaves in the Happy Jack area, approximately 40 minutes to the north of us, have already turned brown and lost their splendor.
Why not take a drive to the Pine-Strawberry area this weekend? If you come up early in the morning, you can enjoy a nice breakfast at either The Early Bird, Randall House or HB’s restaurants.
In addition to driving around to see fall colors, you might want to visit Myra’s Art Gallery (next-door to Sunny Mountain Realty) to view and perhaps purchase fine art, jewelry, wood carvings, and/or pottery; or shop for gifts and/or antiques in Pine at Moose Mountain, Tymeless Antiques & Treasures, Tymeless Annex Estate Sales, Coach House Antiques & Boutique, Auntie Gail’s Collectibles, Pine Country Antiques, or Fancy Finds. You can also find wonderful local honey and preserves at The Honey Stand at the south end of Pine.
In Strawberry, you may want to visit Hock’s Crockery Pottery Studio for some hand-crafted pottery, or Fossil Creek Llama Ranch and Creamery, to see and perhaps feed the llamas and goats, and to sample and perhaps purchase some delicious goat milk cheese and fudge, as well as other gourmet items.
Hikers, bikers, Equestrians and ATV riders have lots of recreational opportunities in the Pine-Strawberry area, particularly the forest access at the north end of Hardscrabble, to which you can ride with your car, ATV, bike or horse to access the designated hiking trail or the forest road towards Twin Buttes, where you can always enjoy spectacular panoramic mountain views, and the beautiful fall colors over the next few weeks. At Gentle Hands Equine Center (next to Fossil Creek Creamery) in Strawberry, you can also arrange for a guided trail ride down to the creek.
If you’re looking to cool off during the day with an ice cream cone or shake, you can find those at Pine Creek Fudge & Ice Cream at the south end of town in the plaza next-door to Taylor Pine Service Station or at the Gingerbread House in Pine, just north of the Pine-Strawberry Community Center.
Good lunches are available at any of the restaurants mentioned above for breakfast. You can enjoy good lunches and dinners at That Brewery and Pub (Pine-Strawberry’s only microbrewery), Sidewinder’s Saloon, Pine Deli, all in Pine, and Mama Jo’s Italian Restaurant in Strawberry. That Brewery and Sidewinder’s often feature music and/or special events on Friday and Saturday nights.
For overnight accommodations in the Pine-Strawberry area, you can contact Pine Creek Cabins in Pine at 928-970-9511, or the Cabins on Strawberry Mountain (928-476-4252) or Up the Creek Bed and Breakfast (928-476-6571), which are both in Strawberry.
You’re always welcome to stop by Sunny Mountain Realty at any time for information about the Pine-Strawberry area, find out about properties for sale in the area, or just grab a bag of hot popcorn. It’s even more fun at this time of year for kids of all ages because we have some fun seasonal decorations on display in our front yard! You can also contact us by phone at 928-476-2766 or 877-867-2344, or visit us on the Web at www.sunnymountain.com.