Rio Verde is bordered by the 21,099 acre McDowell Mountain Park and the nearly 3 million acre Tonto National Forest. This lends itself to many options for biking, mountain biking and hiking in the desert.
Rio Verde has a bike club that meets on Saturday mornings, and has both mountain and road biking groups. The road bikers will often bike to Needle Rock on the Verde river, or into Fountain Hills on the McDowell Mountain park road, a 16 mile round trip.
The McDowell Mountain Park is accessible from McDowell Mountain Road 4 miles south of Rio Verde, halfway to Fountain Hills through the park entrance on the west side of the road. You may also access the park from Rio Verde through the Verde Gate into the park where Aguila Road ends at Palo Fiero Road in Tonto Verde. There is a short trail from Rio Verde along the SRP substation access road off of Avenida del Ray to cut over to the gate area. Entrance into the park has a $2 fee, payable at the honor system pay station or with your annual park pass.
The Verde Trail then links to the North Trail. The North Trail is a 4.5 mile loop, and has access to the main park loop trail, the Pemberton Trail, by way of the Chipurosa Trail.
The park has over 50 miles of trails, and access to hikers, mountain bikers and horses. Watch the signs on the trails, some are restricted for horses. In addition, the Fountain Hills and Scottsdale trail systems link to the McDowell Mountain Park and have additional trails within 5-8 miles of Rio Verde.