This area is a delight to anyone living in the Cottonwood area because it is easily accessed off the old jail parking area on Main St. in Old Town Cottonwood. The trail begins by cutting through a Cottonwood riparian area which is surprisingly dense and isolated from the urban town. Soon the trail opens to a rocky washed flood plain of the Verde River and follows the River downstream for approximately mile. Eventually the trail offers the hiker a choice between continuing to Dead Horse Ranch State Park or looping back into Old Town Cottonwood.
The trial is accessed through the City of Cottonwood and passes largely through Arizona State Parks land in Dead Horse Ranch State Park but it has a newly constructed loop return into and through the City of Cottonwood into Historic Old Town. This is a perfect example of how a collaboration between a state agency and a local municipality will develop and open a wonderful natural area to the general public. In that regard, the Jail Trail presents a unique opportunity to take an easy but beautiful hike, observe many bird species, and enjoy glass of wine and still walk back to your car with retracing your footsteps.