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Davis Journal

New 14-mile Bonneville Shoreline Trail opens up Mueller Park

Oct 26, 2023 09:54AM ● By Becky Ginos
Hikers on the newly opened 14-mile stretch of the Bonneville Shoreline trail “give-way” to members of the Bountiful Mountain Biking team. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

Hikers on the newly opened 14-mile stretch of the Bonneville Shoreline trail “give-way” to members of the Bountiful Mountain Biking team. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

BOUNTIFUL—A crowd of Davis County administrators, city officials and high school mountain biking teams gathered up Mueller Park Canyon on Tuesday to celebrate the opening of the new Bonneville Shoreline Trail. The 14-mile segment is part of a future plan for a 280-mile trail from Nephi to the Idaho border. 

“Davis County is part of making that a reality,” said Community and Economic Development Director, Kent Andersen. “This is a brand new trail that will accommodate all users, bikers, hikers, and trail runners.”

It can be accessed from four trailheads, he said. “Two in Bountiful and two in North Salt Lake. This is part of the backbone trail in the foothills for the broader vision of the 280 mile trail.”

The trail was designed by professional trail builders Avid Trails, said Andersen. “It’s been designed with no grade more than 10%. The total cost was $500,000. The first source was from the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation (DOR) and the Davis County Commissioners used tourism funds of $350,000.”

 The DOR grant was set aside by the legislature, said Jason Curry, DOR director. “They saw how important outdoor recreation is to the economy and Utahns’ wellbeing. Anxiety and depression among kids has skyrocketed. This is medicine for that.”

Some people call it the sidewalk in the woods, he said. “More and more people have limited activity. This is adaptive so we’ll see everybody out enjoying the trails.”

Former Community and Economic Development Director Barry Burton started working on the project several years ago. “I worked for Davis County for 39 years,” he said. “We started planning the trail decades ago. To see it come together is fulfilling. It will serve the community and get people outdoors.”

Early on, Burton helped bushwhack from Mueller Park to North Salt Lake to find the best route for trails. “It became apparent the need for trails of all types,” he said. “We had portions of the Bonneville trail and knew we had an opportunity to take that and make it grow. So we started planning. It was a lot of work. It was a difficult piece to do. In collaboration with the forest service we came together and started doing it.” 

There were no mountain bike clubs back then, said Burton. “It’s gratifying to see the kids out using the trails. They’re outshining us old folks.”

It’s not on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, he said. “It’s well above. There’s a lot of private property up on the mountain. We had to work with NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) to get through that. It’s a tough process. I credit Jeff Oyler (Davis County Planning Manager) for shepherding that through.”

Davis County Commissioners, Bountiful City Council members, the Bountiful Mountain Biking team and everyone in attendance are part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new 14-mile section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Photos by Roger V. Tuttle

Burton said there is more private property to get through in order to tie into a South Weber route. “It would go down to Job Corp and across Highway 89 for it to take place. It’s all doable, it just takes more effort.”

“When Bob (Stevenson) and I took office in January 2019 this trail was already top of mind,” said Commission Chair Lorene Kamalu. “Barry had already been working on it. Jeff Oyler had a vision to create class A trails in Davis County and make it a destination spot. We want people from Park City to come here. He (Oyler) and others were very visionary.”

The trails are busy, said Peter Worthlin, coach of the Woods Cross High Mountain Bike team. “It’s congested which causes conflicts between user groups. It’s hard any given Saturday. The parking lot is completely full.”

“My husband went out last Saturday with our dog and his bike,” said Kamalu. “He came home and said it was amazing that it was still crowded. Everyone is trying to get out while they can.”

There is so much more that Davis County could have, she said. “The potential is remarkable. The county’s vision is to connect all trails so that any time of day you can get anywhere safely.”

The boost to mental health isn’t just for avid riders, Kamalu said. “It’s for everyone. It helps me to keep working hard as a commissioner.”

“I had a parent come to me and say they had a different kid because of mountain biking,” said Worthlin. “They said he had less anxiety when he was out on the trails. That’s why I do this.”