Top of Utah residents enjoying a growing recreational network

Apr 13 2010 - 12:04am

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(DJAMILA GROSSMAN/Standard-Examiner) Mike Nyberg runs on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Rail Trail in Clearfield last week.
Standard-Examiner
(DJAMILA GROSSMAN/Standard-Examiner) Mike Nyberg runs on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Rail Trail in Clearfield last week.
Standard-Examiner

CLEARFIELD -- David Harley and his dog Rose, a keeshond, enjoy walking Clearfield's portion of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Rail Trail.

"A pure delight," 68-year-old Harley said of the trail that gives him and Rose a quiet, flat place to walk among nature, without having to deal with the ups and downs of streets and curbs.

"I really love this section (of the trail) because you get some of the rural flavor," said Harley, who walks the trail in the Steed Park area.

Beginning this summer, Harley and Rose can walk a lot farther along the D&RGW Rail Trail, as Layton prepares to complete its portion of the trail by July.

The three-mile stretch in Layton will connect the trail from the Weber/Davis border to Farmington, where it will connect with the Legacy Parkway Trail, officials said.

The $500,000 trail development by Layton is an example of Davis County's growing trail network.

Although there is no official count for how many people use the paved and native dirt rural and urban trails throughout the county, based on appearance, the trails are receiving plenty of use, said Barry Burton, county planning director.

Over the past 15 years, the county has seen its trail network grow, Burton said.

"There are certainly (financial) limits as to what can be done," he said, but most Davis cities have a trails plan as part of their general plan.

"It used to be that developments really shied away from trails," Burton said. "There was a perception at one time that criminals used urban trails to get in and out of places. Criminals don't use trails."

Burton said developers and home buyers are aware of that, and with developers now offering trail development as a neighborhood amenity, trail systems across the county have taken off.

Reasons for high trail use across the county include the area's topography, residents' love of the outdoors, the health benefit trails provide, trail access, and how trails offer families an affordable alternative in meeting their recreational needs, Burton said.

"You don't even have to buy gas. You can just go and do."

Harley, who takes long walks twice daily, said he often sees families on the D&RGW Rail Trail.

"I see a lot of families, husband, wife and kids, bicycling along."

Bicyclists also use county trails to commute into Salt Lake County, Burton said.

One particular trail receiving commuter use is the Legacy Parkway Trail, which runs through the south end of the county.

But one of the most-utilized trails in the county is the D&RGW Rail Trail, Burton said.

Layton Parks and Recreation is working with the Utah Transit Authority and Utah Department of Transportation to construct its stretch of the D&RGW Rail Trail this spring, said Parks and Recreation Director David Price.

The city will begin working on the 3.14-mile trail this spring and should have it completed by July, he said.

With the Clearfield and Kaysville portion of the trail already being paved, Price said, once Layton paves its portion, it will provide "a nice linear corridor" for commuters and those desiring to use it for recreational purposes.

"This trail in particular is going to be a real connective trans-portation link," Price said of the project predom-inantly being funded by Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality money being made available through UDOT.

One of the most highly requested recreational items outside a new park is trails, he said.

"It provides people that opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors in a safe, nonconflicting environment."

Layton Mayor Steve Curtis said the trail will benefit the public. "It is a good addition to what we already have in Layton."

Curtis said the D&RGW Rail Trail will intersect with Kays Creek Trail, an east-to-west trail the city is developing that will eventually go from the foothills to Great Salt Lake.

"Some might call it trendy," Curtis said of the popularity of trails. "I don't."

Other major trails in the county include the four-mile Old Emigration Trail, which runs through the cities of West Point and Syracuse along the bluff, and a stretch of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, a proposed multicounty trail that would one day extend from the Idaho border to Nephi along the "urban interface."

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail is also one of the most popular trails in Weber County. It runs on or near the highest shoreline of ancient Lake Bonneville and will one day stretch more than 280 miles, according to the Weber Pathways Web site.

Currently, less than 90 miles of the route is officially designated as Bonneville Shoreline Trail, with 16.5 of those miles being in Weber County.

Weber Pathways is working to complete the trail so it extends from the Box Elder County line in the north to the Davis County line in the south, according to the Web site.

Davis County Planner Scott Hess said the majority of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail that extends across the county from South Weber to Bountiful is in place, but not all of the trail access is under secured easement.

Roughly 22 miles of Bonneville Shoreline Trail are in Davis County.

The goal is to connect as many of the trails as possible, Burton said.

A Davis County Trails Committee, planning the connections and preventing any trail duplication, is helping by moving that process along.

Updated 12:01 a.m.

Work to connect trails in Davis County to be completed this summer

CLEARFIELD -- David Harley and his dog Rose, a 7-year-old female keeshond, enjoy walking Clearfield city's portion of the Denver & Rio Grande Western rail trail.

"A pure delight," 68-year-old Harley said of the trail that gives him and Rose a quiet, flat place to walk among nature, without having to deal with the ups and downs of streets and curbs.

"I really love this section (of the trail) because you get some of the rural flavor," said Harley, who walks the trail in the Steed Park area.

Beginning this summer, Harley and Rose can walk a lot farther along the D&RG Western rail trail, as Layton city prepares to complete its portion of the trail by July.

The 3-mile stretch in Layton will connect the trail from the Weber/Davis border to Farmington, where it will connect with the Legacy Parkway trail, officials said.

The $500,000 trail development by Layton is an example of Davis County's growing trail network.

Although there is no official count for how many people utilize the paved and native dirt rural and urban trails throughout the county, based on appearance, the trails are receiving plenty of use, said Barry Burton, county planning director.

Over the past 15 years the county has seen its trail network grow, Burton said.

"There is certainly (financial) limits as to what can be done," he said, but most Davis cities have a trails plan as part of the city's general plan.

"It used to be that developments really shied away from trails," Burton said. "There was a perception at one time that criminals used urban trails to get in and out of places. Criminals don't use trails."

Burton said developers and home buyers are aware of that, and with developers now offering trail development as a neighborhood amenity, trail systems across the county have taken off.

Reasons for high trail use across the county include the area's topography, residents' love of the outdoors, the health benefit trails provide, trail access, and how trails offer families an affordable alternative in meeting their recreational needs, Burton said.

"You don't even have to buy gas," he said. "You can just go and do."

Harley, who takes long walks twice daily, said he often sees families on the D&RG Western trail.

"I see a lot of families, husband, wife and kids, bicycling along," Harley said.

Bicyclists also use the county trails to commute into Salt Lake County, Burton said. One particular trail receiving commuter use is the Legacy Parkway trail, which runs through the south end of the county.

But one of the most-utilized trails in the county is the D&RG Western rail trail, Burton said.

Layton Parks and Recreation is working with the Utah Transit Authority and Utah Department of Transportation to construct its stretch of the D&RG Western rail trail this spring, Parks and Recreation Director David Price said.

The city should have the 3.14-mile trail completed by July, with work to begin this spring, he said.

With the Clearfield and Kaysville portion of the trail already being paved, Price said, once Layton paves its portion, it will provide "a nice linear corridor" for commuters and those desiring to use it for recreational purposes.

"This trail in particular is going to be a real connective transportation link," Price said of the project predominantly being funded by Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) money being made available through UDOT.

One of the most highly requested recreational items outside a new park is trails, Price said. "It provides people that opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors in a safe, nonconflicting environment."

Layton Mayor Steve Curtis said the trail will be beneficial to the public. "It is a good addition to what we already have in Layton."

The D&RG Western rail trail will intersect with the Kays Creek trail, Curtis said, an east-to-west trail the city is developing that will eventually go from the foothills to the Great Salt Lake.

"Some might call it trendy," Curtis said of the popularity of trails. "I don't."

Other major trails in the county include the 4-mile Old Emigration Trail, which runs through the cities of West Point and Syracuse along the bluff. and a stretch of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, a proposed multicounty trail to one day extend from the Idaho border to Nephi along the "urban interface."

The BST is also one of the most popular trails in Weber County, running on or near the highest shoreline of ancient Lake Bonneville, and will one day stretch over 280 miles, according to the Weber Pathways Web site.

Currently less than 90 miles of the route is officially designated as BST, with 16.5 of those miles being in Weber County.

Weber Pathways is now working to complete the trail so that it extends from the Box Elder County line in the north to the Davis County line in the south, according to the Web site.

Davis County Planner Scott Hess said the majority of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail that extends across the county from South Weber to Bountiful is in place, but not all of the trail access is under secured easement.

Roughly 22 miles of Bonneville Shoreline Trail are in Davis County.

The goal is to connect as many of the trails as possible, Burton said. A Davis County Trails Committee, planning the connections and preventing any trail duplication, is helping by moving that process along.

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