By Charles Pekow
Access to the Provo River Parkway Trail would get improved under a plan awaiting final approval.
The Unita-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Resource Advisory Committee unanimously approved and sent to the forest supervisor a plan to built a steel bike/ped Upper Falls Bridge and Connector Trail to the parkway.
The bridge would connect the parkway with the Upper Falls Picnic Site. The project also involves building an asphalt trail through the picnic area to connect the parkway with Old Provo Canyon Road.
The project prospectus says that the new trail would reduce congestion “by diverting some of the through users of the parkway trail around the often-congested Bridal Veil Falls area and would also ensure access to the upper sections of the Provo River Parkway during times of seasonal closures of the Bridal Veil Falls area due to avalanche, rock fall, and/or high water danger.”
In addition to becoming a new trail access point, the connector would provide emergency access. And it would allow many cyclists to avoid the often-crowded area where people stop to view the falls and cyclists are asked to walk their bikes.
The United States Forest Service (USFS) estimates the project costs to total $231,700. USFS says 311,565 people used the 15-mile trail in 2014, making it one of the most popular places to bike in Utah County.