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Immediately you are ensconced in tall pines and an abundance of campsites. That's just what you'd expect from a well-groomed trail in the Coconino National Forest with easy access off the interstate. But just a few miles into Forest Road 226, you begin to find silence broken only by the wind singing a soothing melody in the tops of the Ponderosas and the crunch of your tires on the dirt. Squirrels scamper across the road, and that might have been an elk in the shadows watching you pass by. At picturesque Bar M Canyon, named for an old ranch that once operated in the area, is an unexpected one-lane bridge. Just beyond the bridge is a campsite snuggled up to the canyon. An enterprising camper cut large pine logs into camp furniture fit for Paul Bunyan. The site makes for a cozy overnight camp or perhaps just an amusing and timely picnic spot. With links to a complete network of other fun trails, Forest Road 226 might be a pivotal segment of a longer overland journey. But even alone, it is worth checking out.
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