Our View: Utah's great trail systems

Friday , August 02, 2013 - 8:02 AM

Editorial Board

Utahns can take great pride in our state’s trails. Our forest trails are considered above-average. That’s in contrast to much of the rest of the nation. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, only about a quarter of our nation’s trails are being maintained in accordance with U.S. Forest Service standards. And roughly a third of all U.S. trails need some maintenance improvement.

Effective partnerships between federal organizations, local organizations and individuals are reasons Utah’s trails are doing well. The U.S. Forest Service, along with one local organization Weber Pathways, have an Adopt-A-Trail program, in which local groups and individuals volunteer to keep a trail maintained well. Those who agree to adopt the trail do basic maintenance, which includes cleaning up trash, cleaning the trailhead, repairing water bars, clearing the trail, and removing brush and limbs.

It’s at the local level where the success at keeping trails well maintained is evident. Weber Pathways, for example, has constructed 51-plus miles of non-motorized trails in the last 18 years, plus it has preserved 300 acres of open space. In Junction City, the Ogden Trails Network Advisory Committee has realigned trails above the 36th Street trailhead, placed scores of signs by the Ogden and Weber rivers, widened trails, put in restrooms along trails, and much more.

Davis County also has a strong trail system that it can justly take pride in. In the county, there are more than 158 miles of paved trails. There are a lot more unpaved trails as well. Farmington has 117 miles of trails, with 60 miles of the trails paved. Kaysville has 20 miles of paved trails. The Davis cities are effectively linked via the trails.

Groups and individuals adopt a trail for a year. We can’t provide enough thanks to these individuals, who take a little time each month to assure that thousands of others safely enjoy Utah’s natural beauty.

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