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Trail Talk

Trails Utah Monthly Newsletter
Welcome to Trail Talk, Trails Utah's newsletter featuring updates on our trails and advocacy work, information from our partners, events, trail jobs and more.

Trails Utah is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to trails planning, funding, sustainable design and construction, and advocacy in needed areas throughout Utah. We seek to connect, steward and celebrate our communities and Utah's natural spaces.

We hope you find Trail Talk educational and even entertaining!

Trail Updates

What's new with our trails, and with Trails Utah?
TRAILS UTAH IS HIRING!

Marketing & Communications Director
Trails Utah received an anonymous donation of $75,000 to hire this new position for three years. This has been high on our priority list for 2022 and we are ever-grateful for the support to take our organization to the next level. This new position is going to open doors to help spread awareness about who we are, what we do, and why trails are so important. Interested in this job or spreading the word? Check out the job description. Deadline is September 30 (the job has been posted on our social media channels since the start of September, but after our last newsletter was mailed out - apologies for those just seeing this for the first time)

New Members & Donors
Thanks to all of you that signed up for a membership or made a donation in September - your membership dollars will go towards supporting our administration as well as projects we are carrying out this year and in 2023.

TRAIL PROJECTS

Spring Hollow Trail System - Pine Valley Ranger District
Now that fire restrictions have been lifted and temperatures have cooled we are ready to get back to work on Phase I of the Spring Hollow project. So far, trail builders have rough cut approximately 7 miles of trail, have finished 6 miles, and have another nine miles to finish Phase I. Depending on their progress this fall, builders may be rolling right into Phase II of the project. Phase II includes another 11 miles of trail to be built at higher elevations and will include some challenging terrain with trail alignments that are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Both Phase I and II of this multi-year project have been made possible with grants from the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, the Trails Alliance of Southern Utah, and Washington County. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with these partners and the Pine Valley Ranger District of the Dixie National Forest to make this project happen.

In total, when complete, this system will include two trail networks and four trailheads. Phases 1-3 will include the main trailhead, dispersed camping area, and a NICA pit zone and parking area. Design work was done by Trails Utah board member and Trail Alliance of Southern Utah (TASU) President, Kevin Christopherson. NEPA studies have been conducted and all approvals for construction have been made. This new trail system will have adaptive accessibility incorporated into the building process. Surface Trails is doing the construction. The trail is not open and will likely not be completed and open until Fall or early winter. We kindly ask that you please not go to the site until the trail is open!

Update: Trails Utah has been awarded $525,000 in matching funds from Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation for this project, and Washington County has provided $800,000. We need to match the UOOR funds in order to receive them, and are still seeking almost $1M more in order to complete this trail system. Find out more and donate here. 


Nung 'wu Poa Trail - Phase II
Trails Utah is raising funds for a new multi-use trail to be built in partnership with Town of Springdale, the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah and Trail Alliance of Southern Utah. Town of Springdale continues to work with the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah on final alignment, interpretive signs, signage, etc. The project has been bumped up on Town of Springdale's priority list and they are now looking to get started on it in the 2022/2023 fiscal year. This is a team effort and we are thrilled to be a part of this exciting trail project!

Update: Trails Utah has been awarded a $75,000 matching grant for this project, and Town of Springdale is offering the matching funds - THANK YOU! We are excited to get this project going!
Find out more about this trail.

Grandeur Peak Section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST)
After over two decades of planning,Trails Utah is going to complete this Bonneville Shoreline Trail section from Parleys to Millcreek Canyon. In May, we were awarded a Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation matching grant of $50,000 that will cover almost half of the anticipated project cost. We are working with our Federal, County and City partners to finalize the permitting and approval requirements that are needed for legal construction of a sustainable recreational trail.

We are now reaching out to community partners and supporters like you to raise the remaining matching funds necessary to complete the project, which broke ground in August. If trails are important to you, please help by becoming a member or making a donation to Trails Utah. Thank you! And thanks to our partners at the US Forest Service, Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, Salt Lake County Open Space, Utah Open Lands, and City of Millcreek! See a map and more info.


TU Trails AxS (Access) Project:  Millcreek Canyon
Trails Utah is working with Wasatch Adaptive Sports, National Ability Center, board member Wally Lee, and the US Forest Service on a project modifying existing trails to increase accessibility for hand-cyclists and adaptive runners. New trail-building methods often make trails wide enough for hand-cycles; however, the vast majority of trails in the Wasatch were built before these new methods were instituted. We seek to make modifications to such trails to offer more opportunity for ORHCers (adaptive bikers). We are truly excited about this collaboration and look forward to making our trails available to a wider segment of the community. We're getting started in Millcreek Canyon in early 2023.

Update: Trails Utah and our partners have completed a detailed walk/ride-through of our designated trails to record imagery and needed modifications. We are currently seeking financial support to carry out those modifications. Trails Utah has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Sorenson Legacy Foundation for this project - we are incredibly grateful for their support. Help us bring the trail experience to more of our community by giving today. Thank you!


Herriman Hills Trail System
In 2020 / 21, Trails Utah, Herriman City and Herriman Hills Trails Alliance completed several trails in the Herriman Hills, including the Hardlick Downhill Trail, the Rawhide Trail and the MoJo Trail, consisting of approximately 3.5 total trail miles. In 2022 we are planning to expand upon this system and build two new trail sections - a new 1-mile section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and a new 1-mile hiking-only loop. Trails Utah is currently in the fundraising stage. Find out more and make a donation to support this project!

Butterfield Canyon Trail System
Salt Lake County is getting closer to beginning work on Phase 1 of the Butterfield Canyon Trail System. Phase 1 will include 12 to 15 miles of new trail and a NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Assn) race course and staging area. They recently hired a highly-qualified Trails Quality Control Consultant who will be tasked with overseeing the final planning, flagging and construction of Phase 1. In addition, he will be coordinating the many players involved in this project, including Salt Lake County Parks and Rec personnel, S & L Contractors, and the pro builders being contracted for the project. Tentative start date is mid-August.

Foothills Trail System
All trail construction for this project has been delayed until 2023. Salt Lake City is undertaking an environmental evaluation (cultural, land, plant and wildlife, scenic impacts) led by a local firm, SWCA.  They have now hired a Trail Design specialist (see JOBS section) to do a deeper evaluation of existing trails, recently constructed trails, and the trails plan itself. They will also add an addendum to the trails plan to include a trail maintenance plan and alignment and timing recommendations. Job posting will go up in April and they anticipate this work to be completed in the spring of 2023. They are working to develop plans for and implement at least five trailheads along the foothills. The selected firm's consultation will run from summer 2022 through summer 2023, with the possibility of Phase II being implemented as early as fall 2023 or 2024. If you are interested in the progress of the Foothill Trails Plan implementation and want to voice support for trail construction, please reach out to Salt Lake City Trails Alliance.

C0MMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & CONFERENCES
We love engaging with our communities - meeting new people, listening to their ideas, and sharing what Trails Utah is all about. One way we do this is by participating in events. And conferences are wonderful opportunities to do the same with our cohorts in the trails community - federal, state and local entities and non-profits with similar goals. They are also great learning and networking opportunities. In July and August, we attended three Utah Cirque Series events and here's what we're up to in September:

Utah Outdoor Summit
Trails Utah had a great and productive time at this year's Outdoor Summit: Outdoor Forward. Thanks to Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation for putting together another great set of panels, keynotes and activities, and thanks to all those that presented, sharing their knowledge, experience and skills with all of us.

Trails Utah Member Thank You Event
Thursday, October 27
6:00-8:00pm
Location TBD (Salt Lake City) - we'll post specifics in our social media feeds in the coming weeks! This is our time to thank all of our members, new and returning, for your support over the years. Be on the lookout for more information, and THANK YOU!

Additional Community Engagement
- October 1: NICA Mountain Bike Race, Eagle Mountain
- October 21 & 22: NICA Mountain Bike Race Finals, St George
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We would love to hear what trails YOU would like to see in Utah. Please send your ideas and/or any feedback to info@trailsutah.org.
 
Learn more about our trails!

Policy, Advocacy, Stewardship & Sustainability

Trails provide us with many benefits - health, community, connection with the natural world, economic strength, and so much more. A lot goes into the realization, maintenance and advocacy of trails: policies and planning; stakeholder buy-in, awareness and education, and stewardship of trails. Trails Utah is dedicated not only to creating and maintaining sustainable trails, but also to affecting policy, creating awareness, educating trail users, and helping support trail etiquette practices. A team effort is ever more necessary as populations grow and trail use increases. We hope you will support Trails Utah and our trail partners in these efforts!
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POLICY

Transit to Trails Act 
Underserved communities across the country don't have access to outdoor spaces. Transportation to our public lands and open spaces are one barrier that prevent many from accessing all the benefits trails and green spaces provide. Removing barriers and increasing access for urban and rural areas is critical. The Transit to Trails Act can provide a crucial transportation option to and from trail heads! Find out more.

ADVOCACY

Bears Ears National Monument Public Scoping Meetings
If you are interested in having your voice heard regarding planning at Bears Ears, please join the discussion at one of the following dates and times:

     In Person
  • Sept. 28, 2022, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. (mountain time) at the Utah State University Blanding Arts and Event Center - 576 W 200 S, Blanding, Utah 84511
  • Oct. 12, 2022, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Marriott Albuquerque - 2101 Louisiana Blvd NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87110
     Virtual
     More information.
 
Diverse Trail-Related Groups & Organizations
There are many marginalized communities here in Utah, but there are opportunities to get out on trails with a variety of different groups, depending on who you connect best, and feel most safe, with. Here are just a few:
Grants for Adaptive Equipment
Whether an ORHC (offroad hand cycle) or prostheses, adaptive equipment is expensive and often not covered by health insurance. Here are a few great resources for grants to help you cover these expenses:
- Challenged Athletes - https://www.challengedathletes.org/
- High Fives Foundation - https://highfivesfoundation.org/

Free & Low-Cost Refurbished Bikes!
If buying a bike is beyond of your budgetary limits, check out the Bicycle Collective, with locations in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo and St George. The mission of the Bicycle Collective is to promote cycling as an effective and sustainable form of transportation and recreation, and a cornerstone of a cleaner, healthier, and safer society. We provide refurbished bicycles and educational programs to the community focusing on children and lower income households.

Trail Master Planning Continues for the Central Wasatch
Trails Utah has been actively participating in trail master planning efforts with US Forest Service, Salt Lake City Watershed, and Salt Lake County. We are working to ensure that these plans dovetail and reference concurrent planning efforts. The Central Wasatch Commission Trails Committee continues to monitor progress in these endeavors.


STEWARDSHIP

Help Moab Trail Mix build a new trail!
9am every Wednesday and Thursday in October
Porcupine Rim Trail Head on Sand Flats Road

Moab Trail Mix is seeking volunteers to help build Moab’s latest and greatest fantastic fabulous new trail, Hawks Glide!
Hawks Glide is in the Sand Flats Rec Area and will connect the existing Eagle Eye Trail to the Falcon Flow trail along the new Raptor Route. Sign up here!

SUSTAINABILITY

Trail Etiquette

Check out this great video about trail etiquette from Sisters Trails Alliance in Oregon! Though the content isn't directly related to the sustainability of physical trails, it is important to the sustainability of the relationships between all of our trails users - hikers, runners, bikers and horseback riders. There are always nuances in these basic tenants, but these are at the core. Enjoy, and please share!

10 Ways to Leave No Trace
It’s clear that crowds are threatening some of our most precious outdoor areas. Learn how to be a steward who is kind in nature and protects the great outdoors. Learn the ways!

 

Trails Rx

The physical health benefits of getting out for a walk, hike, or a bike ride, even if it is for only 30 minutes a day, is well-documented and astonishing. It includes much more than better cardiovascular and muscle fitness. Increased metabolism for weight loss, improved digestion, and better sleep quality are some of the other benefits that provide significant positive impacts for long-term health. In our Trails Rx section, we will explore a myriad of ways trails improve health. Let's explore!
 
Hiking 101: Health Benefits of Hiking
Hiking is more than just fun. It’s good for you, too! Countless studies and research have consistently shown that regular exercise not only improves our overall health and fitness, but lengthens and improves the quality of our lives. Check out this list of ways hiking improves heath.
 
BECOME A MEMBER TODAY

We need your help to make trails happen!
Give a little or a lot and we will put your dollars to work building state-of-the-art trails in your community and around Utah. You'll get some great swag, too! 

New member perks for 2022 !
 
    Brand new t-shirt celebrating one of our trails

     Newly designed Trails Utah stickers (in 3 colors!)
 
     Discount on the onX Backcountry mapping app
 

  First Annual Northern Utah Trailfest
October 7-9, 2022
North Fork Park, Liberty

The ‘NUT’ is a fall celebration for all trail users! It’s a festival for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys adventure and recreation. Runners, hikers, and mountain bikers—amateurs and pros alike—will enjoy the challenge of the NUT Trail Run and Mountain Bike Race on Saturday, October 8th as they compete to complete the most course laps in 3, 6 or 9* hours. Find out more!

Help Moab Trail Mix build a new trail!
9am every Wednesday and Thursday in October
Porcupine Rim Trail Head on Sand Flats Road

Moab Trail Mix is seeking volunteers to help build Moab’s latest and greatest fantastic fabulous new trail, Hawks Glide!
Hawks Glide is in the Sand Flats Rec Area and will connect the existing Eagle Eye Trail to the Falcon Flow trail along the new Raptor Route. Sign up here!

Zion Gravel Bike Race
Saturday, October 15
Zion National Park
The Zion Gravel Bike Race will give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding areas of Zion National Park by racing bikes through back gravel roads and ATV double track trails. With some of the most scenic views of the Zion area, this race is a must! As an added bonus, Vacation Races is teaming up with Trail Alliance of Southern Utah (TASU) and donating an entry to the 2022 Zion Gravel Bike Race at each of the showings of Esperanto. TASU will be doing a silent auction for these at the movies so make sure you place a bid!
More info on the drawing with TASU

More info on the bike race

The White Rim - Adaptive Adventure
October 19-22
Canyonlands

Telluride Adaptive Sports Program (TASP) is doing a guiding ride of The White Rim. 4 days, 100 miles. Adaptive riders can register one additional buddy rider to join on this fully-guided trip. Email TASP at programs@tellurideadaptivesports.org.

  National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) State Championships
Friday & Saturday, October 21 & 22
Desert Canyon, St George

Whether you come to support your kids, grandkids, sisters, brothers or friends, or just want to watch some amazing young riders, this state championship is the one to watch. Utah boasts the largest number of junior high and high school members of NICA in the country and there are some incredibly talented mountain bikers here. The Desert Canyons Utah High School Cycling State Championships course is the venue, and it is the league's most ambitious course to date, as well as the longest course they've made. Find out more.


  Level 9 Sports - Maintenance Mondays
Monday, October 31
Level 9 Sports, Downtown SLC

Join Level 9 Sports (founded here in Utah) the last Monday of each month this summer at their Downtown SLC Location to learn about bike maintenance! At each event their bike technicians will teach a different bike maintenance skill. The events are free and those with all levels of maintenance experience are welcome. Food and soft drinks will be provided, and participants are invited to leave their bike for a semi-annual tune-up at 25% off. More info.

October Trail Races in Utah
- Trail Running
- Mountain Biking


Pinebrook Bikes & Brews - Community Ride
Every Thursday @ 5:30pm
Start @ Inspired Summit Adventures, Park City

There is a new community ride every Thursday evening in Pinebrook! Ride the Basin Rec trails leaving from Inspired Summit Adventures shop (next to Shucks). All abilities welcome on the social ride. Ending at Shucks for music and brews! Email info@inspiredsummit.com for more info.


Adaptive Mountain Biking w/TRAILS (University of Utah)
Morning sessions: 9-11am
Afternoon sessions: 12-2pm
@ Round Valley

TRAILS (Technology Recreation Access Independence Lifestyle Sports) at University of Utah is offering ORHC outings at beautiful Round Valley - don't miss them!
Contact for more details.

 


Other Trail News

News from our trail partners

  New Mother Urban Trail
Three weeks ago, the Mountain Trails Foundation in Park City completed their second major project of the summer, the Mother Urban trail. Named after a colorful character in Park City history, this new trail originates in the heart of Old Town, just off Lowell Avenue, gently ascending for nearly five miles and 1,200 feet before topping out on the Mid Mountain Trail just south of King Road. Check out the trail.


Gondola B Plan (Little Cottonwood Canyon)
Utah Department of Transportation identified Gondola B as the single preferred alternative developed as part of the Little Cottonwood Canyon Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to improve transportation in the canyon. Gondola B, with phased implementation, best meets the project purpose and need and provides the highest travel reliability for the public. The Final EIS, available for review on the project website, is the next phase in the EIS process, which includes a 45-day public review and comment period through October 17. Please submit your comments!
 
Phase 2 of Slate Creek MTB Trail in Uintas
South Summit Trails Foundation recently broke ground on Phase 2 of the Slate Creek MTB trail in the Uintas. They are making serious progress, thanks to Creative Trails.
The lower loop of 1.2 miles is complete and a great mountain bike trail for kids and families to enjoy - a short uphill and fun downhill through the trees! SSTF asks you to stay out of unfinished construction areas - lots of sharp machinery and tools in random locations! Once Phase 2 is complete, there will be 14.75 miles of new trails. Follow SSTF on Instagram.

Survey for Trail Runners and Mountain Bikers
PACT Outdoors would love you to participate in this survey to help them understand who you are and what your priorities are regarding your activity. They plan to reward a handful of participants with the chance to pre-purchase their PACT Ultra Lite bathroom kit (ahead of the general public) and to serve as their beta-testers. Fill out the survey. And please email brandon.morton@western.edu with any questions. Thanks!
 
Looking for employment in the trail world? Look no further...

TRAILS UTAH IS HIRING!

Marketing & Communications Director
Trails Utah received an anonymous donation of $75,000 to hire this new position for three years. This has been high on our priority list for 2022 and we are ever-grateful for the support to take our organization to the next level. This new position is going to open doors to help spread awareness about who we are, what we do, and why trails are so important. Interested in this job or spreading the word? Check out the job description.


Accountant
Our trusted accountant of many years is retiring and we are seeking someone to fill his shoes. View the job description here.

There are MANY, MANY other trail jobs currently open throughout Utah. Rather than list them all, you can simply check out the full list here.

 
HELP US BRING YOUR TRAIL DREAMS TO LIFE!

We can't make trails happen without funding - your financial support is crucial to the work we do year-round to plan for, fund and build trails. The trails we build offer all of us better access to recreation, healthy living and opportunities to get into the outdoors!

Become a Corporate Sponsor
If you are a business-owner, consider making a contribution that will support all the trails that make our communities great places to live, work and play.

Make a Donation
We welcome donations at any level. Your dollars will be consolidated and put to work to bring your trail dreams to life.

To make it even easier, just scan our QR code and pay via Venmo!



Thank you!
Seeking Feedback
Please take our Trails Utah Community Survey!
We are interested in finding out more about our trail users so that we can better serve you into the future!
 
THANK YOU!
To our most recent supporters:

MEMBERS & DONORS

Thanks to all of our new and returning members and donors in September.
We are deeply appreciative!
Find out more about Trails Utah - Visit our website!
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