By Jay Burke
Summer seems to be in full swing now with warm temperatures and all the backcountry trails open. If you’ve not noticed, there are a lot of projects going on around town (and we are not talking about road work!) – we are talking about trails and paths. We thought we’d take a moment and outline a few of the larger projects going on this summer, most are happening right here in the greater Park City area.
Here is a brief summary of the projects Park City Municipal projects going on this summer.
The Stoneridge/Gilmore Property Improvements: This is the piece of property on the Northwest side of Round Valley recently acquired with funds from the County’s open space bond. There will be a singletrack connection (approx. 2 miles long) from the Trailside area over to the small parking area on Old Ranch Road. Mountain Trails Foundation will be building this. Additionally, there will be a 10’ soft surface trail going in on the property that is more multi-use oriented (Nordic skiing, young families, etc.). Access will be from the new Trailside parking area just East of the LDS Church. This project is scheduled for completion by September.
In town the pathway that cuts through town park and crosses under Bonanza Drive is being widened to create a safer corridor (this path sees about 500 users a day!). Many mountain bikers use this to access trails that surround historic old town Park City.
Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District has multiple large and small projects going on this summer and into the fall.
The latest phase of the Trailside Bike Park Expansion – this part of the project is nearly complete with a new advanced flow line and an all-mountain loop. For more details please visit basinrecreation.org
Rasmussen and Kilby Road Paved Trail Project – As identified in the 2010 Trails and Open Space Bond, this project is underway, paving a trail from Kimball Junction to Jeremy Ranch Elementary School along Rasmussen Road. Additionally, a paved trail from Gorgoza Tubing Park to Summit Park is also in the design phase with the hope for construction to begin this summer.
PRI – Kimball Junction Trail – This is another bond project that is in the planning phase. We are currently working on land acquisition that will allow us to complete Millennium Trail from the pedestrian underpass near Whole Foods and tie into Millennium Trail adjacent to the Liberty Peak Townhomes where a new trail parking area will also be built.
Highway 40 Pedestrian-Wildlife Underpass – This project is a cooperative effort between UDOT, Utah Department of Natural Resources, Summit County, Park City Municipal, and Basin Recreation to provide access underneath Hwy 40 just south of Home Depot. The last of the needed funds were finally acquired over the winter through a Summit County RAP Grant. Construction will begin later summer and will be completed this fall.
Silver Creek Trail – Basin Recreation is working closely with the residents of Silver Creek to construct the first public trail in their neighborhood. This will be a 4 to 6-foot wide gravel path alongside the roads. This project is in the design phase and we are working to complete the trail by early fall.
Spring Creek Trailhead Pedestrian Bridge – This project will provide an off-road crossing for the East Canyon Creek from the Spring Creek trailhead to the Stealth Trail. The contract has been awarded and construction will begin mid July when high water in the creek has subsided.
Hi Ute Ranch – Basin Recreation has been and is currently working with Utah Open Lands and the family who owns the ranch to build a singletrack trail from Ecker Hill Middle School to Hunters Trail. We are still negotiating details of where and when construction will begin, but are hopeful that we will see the trail being built this fall.
The Wasatch Trails Alliance down in Wasatch County will be busy this summer with multiple projects in the dirt and some in planning phases. The big one, W.O.W. Trail (Wasatch Over the Wasatch), will eventually connect Summit and Wasatch Counties – construction is underway, completion date of this project is a ways off and unpredictable at this point.
Dutch Hollow to Riverview Trail connection under Hwy 40. Construction is anticipated to start on this trail and make it to the highway, completion in the near future once some easements are in place.
The Heber Valley Railway Trail feasibility and engineering study will be happening this summer thanks to a grant from U.D.O.T. This will be a potential pathway system that will connect Heber to the trail system at Soldier Hollow and on to the perimeter trail of Deer Creek Reservoir.
Wasatch County is an area to watch in the coming years; this is going to be a hotbed for trail development and human-powered recreation.
Last, but not least, Mountain Trails Foundation will be very busy this summer as well. We’ve already mentioned a few of the projects they will be involved with, but here are the details.
Dawn’s Trail is a shorter connection trail off of Armstrong trail which will give a nice loop option for those not wanting to go up to the H.A.M. connection (which is a 7 mile loop if you come down Spiro Trail). This trail loop should be just under 4 miles when complete, construction is slated to start in July.
The Backside Trail in Round Valley will have a small re-route project which will overcome an erosion plagued portion of that trail, near completion now.
Spiro switchback work will create grade reversals and bermed turns to mitigate the extensive washboard that has developed over the last few years.
Of course all of these organizations where out this spring clearing trails and doing spring maintenance getting everything prepared for the heavy summer use – If you see any of these crews out on the trails, be sure to show your gratitude!
Trail conditions can be found at mountaintrails.org and at basinrecreation.org – see you out there!