The nearly 180-mile long Verde River is a significant resource in Arizona. It is one of the desert's last free-flowing rivers sustaining a large regional wildlife population and a lush riparian community. In 1986, the state purchased the area that is now known as the Verde River Greenway State Natural Area between the Tuzigoot and Bridgeport bridges. The Greenway encompasses nearly 480 acres and is six miles long. The 3,300 foot elevation means mild temperatures for hiking along the Verde, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, or just wading in the cool water. Life along the river changes with the season, giving visitors a glimpse of great blue heron, black hawks, coyotes, raccoons, mule deer, beavers, ducks, frogs, and toads. The Verde River and surrounding riparian corridor support nearly twenty threatened or endangered species including river otter, southwestern bald eagles, southwestern willow flycatchers, and lowland leopard frogs.