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ATV Adventures: Exploring the ATV trails on the new Cinnamon Creek complex

By Lynn Blamires - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Sep 29, 2022
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A UTV driver is reflected in a pond as we begin exploring the new Cinnamon Creek Wildlife Management Area.
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Riding the Cinnamon Creek trails.
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Taking a break in a pleasant spot on the Cinnamon Creek trails.
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Lynn Blamires

It has been a year since I was on the trails in what is now known as the Cinnamon Creek Wildlife Management Area. I was pleasantly surprised at the improvements to the old access point to these trails off Ant Flat Road.

Last year, 8,100 acres of School Trust Lands were put on the auction block for sale. A group of organizations interested in keeping it open to the public were successful in winning the bid.

I joined a group of six ATVs and side-by-sides led by Dave Meents of North Ogden on another ride to explore more of this area. We met at the snowmobile parking lot on Highway 39 near the junction with Ant Flat Road to begin our ride.

Taking the connector trail west, we turned onto Ant Flat Road and rode north for about 4 miles to what used to be known as a “Sportsman’s Access” point. The trailhead now has a sign marking the management area. It has been much improved since I was there last.

Entering the complex, we rode around a pond and then skirted a low knoll. The highest point on this trail is only about 7,400 feet, which makes it possible to ride this area later in the season.

Passing the knoll, we headed south. After crossing Cinnamon Creek, the trail turned west again. This track would have taken us down into the La Plata Cabin Association, but there was a section of water on the trail that we weren’t confident enough to tackle. I have come upon some water on trails that could swallow machines our size. When it is big and muddy, I tend to err on the side of caution.

However, the road is owned by the county and goes through La Plata. While they have a locked gate preventing travel on the county road, it is not a legal gate. La Plata can claim the property on either side of the road as private and prevent trespassers, but they do not own the county road. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Turning around, we headed for Mineral Point. I was interested in the difference in the conditions on this ride compared with the last year. The day was beautiful, but the colors are late in coming out. While there were some maples showing a little color, the aspen and oak were still holding their summer coats.

The trail follows a ridge that peaks at 7,400 feet. From there, you can see off to the right into Scare Canyon where the East Fork of the Little Bear River flows. On the left is La Plata Canyon where Cinnamon Creek runs. We stopped for lunch just before the trail dropped down through a series of switchbacks down to the bottom at the point where the two streams meet.

To reach that point, we had to go around a gate that was closed and locked. This is also a county road owned by Cache County and they have confirmed that the gate is on public land and should not be there. We counted a total of 15 machines that rode this trail down into Cinnamon Creek around that gate.

The trail was rocky in spots and it took some negotiating to navigate that section, but the mountain scenery is beautiful. At the bottom, the trail crosses the creek several times, which is a highlight of this ride.

The trail comes to a dead end at a gate where the county road would enter a girl’s camp. This creates a different kind of dilemma because thousands of kids are given an amazing experience in the backcountry that would be interrupted by the noise of machines on an ATV trail through camp. On the other hand, it is a county road that has been illegally blocked from going on to Porcupine Reservoir.

I talked with officials at the camp who have drone footage of a possible route around the facility. I plan to work with Cache County to see if that could become a reality.

With the shadows getting long, we turned around and headed back to the trucks. It was just past the gate on top when two machines broke down, but that is a story for another day. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and watch for more development on the Cinnamon Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Contact Lynn R. Blamires at quadmanone@gmail.com.

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