A Trail to Remember: Bountiful’s community effortMar 02, 2021 11:26AM ● By Gail Newbold
On a frigid day in November 2020, 158 volunteers of all ages showed up at the dirt road leading to the North Canyon Trailhead carrying shovels and rakes, excited to carve a new bike trail before winter hit.
At day’s end, the one-mile downhill track was 85% to 90% complete, despite the cold temperatures and a dusting of snow. Wind River Construction of Woods Cross donated manpower and a mini excavator. Bountiful City provided a paid trail consultant, funding, and technical tools like Pulaskis, McLeods, grub hoes and chainsaws.
“It was very exciting and very cold,” recalled Francisco Astorga, planning and economic development director for Bountiful City.
The result of their efforts is a beautiful trail that meanders through trees with plenty of exhilarating jumps, rollers (short ups and downs) and berms (banked corners). It’s the first of many new trails and trail improvements the city plans to make in coming years with funding from the recently passed Bountiful Parks and Trails Bond.
“This was our first trail—our maiden voyage, so to speak,” said Curtis Poole, Bountiful city planner. “It’s not quite finished and needs a few tweaks, but I’d call it a success. The feedback so far has been very positive.”
At the heart of this endeavor was the seven-member Bountiful Trails Advisory Committee who helped plan the trail along with Jared Justensen, trail system consultant, and then acted as mini captains for each leg. Local biking teams also offered advice and manpower, as did a crew from Hill Air Force Base.
“The high school biking clubs were very interested in this trail,” said Astorga, “so even 14-year-old kids were there helping and excited. It was never fun for them to ride down that rough dirt road.”
Poole added that Bountiful Parks Director Brock Hill is very protective of the city’s trees, so few needed to be removed. “We had a 27-foot easement to work with, so we were able to maintain a nice flow and more of a meandering feel,” he said.
All that’s remaining to be done on the trail is to remove a few of the jumps, rollers and berms. “We wanted those things, but at the end of the day, some people on the committee thought they were nice but there were too many. We were overexcited,” he said with a smile.
Plans are to create a hiking path on the opposite (south) side of the dirt road that uphill bikers will also be allowed to use. The biking trail is solely for downhill cyclists. A parking lot at the bottom of the road, as well as the hiking trail, will hopefully be constructed this spring or midsummer, according to Poole.
The dirt road is under county jurisdiction, but Poole hopes the city can assist in making it more usable. Only high-clearance vehicles can drive it at present. “We’d like to keep hikers and bikers off that road for safety reasons,” said Poole. There are no plans to put in a parking lot at the end of the dirt road.
Other discussions for utilizing the bond money include creating a network trail between Mueller Park and Ward Canyons, cleaning up the Kenny Creek Trail, fixing the bridges on the Holbrook Canyon Trail, connecting the Bonneville Shoreline Trail to spur trails and more downhill bike tracks.
“We get a lot of complaints about bikers flying downhill on our trails,” said Poole. “So, we’re looking into constructing a downhill trail in Mueller Park Canyon.”
The master trails plan for Bountiful can be accessed at bountifulutah.gov/trails.