FRUIT HEIGHTS -- In a forest gully just north of Castle Heights Park off Nichols Road are the remnants of an old park and campground. Once a popular recreation area, massive flooding in 1983 demolished the park, leaving in its wake a solemn trail of damaged trees.
There are still signs of a disjointed trail under the tree rubble and crumbled pieces of asphalt along the streambed, but Fruit Heights is breathing new life into the area. Since last fall, the city has been actively preparing the area for a new trail system, hoping to have it in place by the end of summer.
Steve Petty, Fruit Heights Trails Committee chairman, said the projected milelong trail will begin at Main Street in Kaysville and head up to the area behind Castle Heights Park, where it will branch off into a loop and continue up to U.S. 89.
"We are excited to inform the whole community about this opportunity for developing this precious piece of property into something the entire community can enjoy," said Councilwoman Bette Hubrich.
Having grown up in Kaysville, Hubrich remembers spending time down in that area before the floods damaged the park.
"It was such a fabulous area then -- to see it washed out and abandoned was sad," she said. "It is very important for me to see something that was once such a gift for the community be returned to them."
Officials shared information about the Nichols Hollow Trail project with residents Tuesday at the city offices.
During Tuesday's city council meeting, residents were concerned about the possibility of increased criminal activity with the increased access into the area.
Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson addressed those concerns.
"Obviously, when you do these types of projects, there are concerns of introducing people into this area, but we've had problems in that area for the last 15 years. This project has the potential to alleviate those problems."
To fund the project, the city plans to use city impact fees that have been accumulating for many years, in addition to funds and land received as a gift from the Ivory Homes development in the area. The city also received a donated portion of land next to the trail from an area resident.
The trail system is still in the early stages, but volunteers have already been evaluating the site and beginning cleanup. The major portion of the work being done has come from volunteers in the community, Scout troops and local church groups.
Volunteers soon will begin cutting the trail corridor through the trees and cleaning up the streambed.
"We are trying to spare as many of the good, healthy trees as we can while taking down the damaged and dead trees," Petty said earlier.
The trees hauled out of the gully will be processed in tree shredders, and the remaining shredded bark will be used to top the trail after it is graded and small drainage pipes are incorporated. Before using the shredded bark, the trail will be packed down with road base material.
"Our aim is to have a natural surface that is more fun to walk and run on, and easier on the joints," Petty said.
"We just don't really have anything quite like this for our older folks and moms with little kids. The Shoreline Trail isn't really accessible to them, so we wanted to make something for everyone to enjoy, even with strollers."
Plans for the trail include adding benches, picnic areas, observation decks and security cameras. The Davis High School cross country teams also plan to use the trail for training and races.
Anyone interested in donating time or funds for the project is asked to call Scot Poole at 801-546-6280.