On the north outskirts of Cottonwood, not far from Tuzigoot National Monument, this state park on the banks of the Verde River offers picnicking, fishing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, and camping. Trails winding through the riparian forests along the riverbanks visit marshes that offer good bird-watching; they also lead into the adjacent national forest, so you can get in many miles of scenic hiking and mountain biking. (The ranch was named in the 1940s, when the children of a family looking to buy a ranch told their parents they wanted to buy the place with the dead horse by the side of the road.) For a guided horseback ride in the park, contact Trail Horse Adventures (www.trailhorseadventures.com; tel. 928/634-5276). A 1-hour ride costs $64 and a 3-hour lunch ride costs $125.