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Sound off on the Rail Trail revitalization Wednesday

Rail Trail State Park Website
Wednesday's meeting will be at The Prospector hotel on Sidewinder Drive.

Park City’s portion of the iconic Rail Trail will be getting a fresh look. Exactly what that will be is up to the public.

Work on the Park City Rail Trail Master Plan is now underway. Expected to run through next summer, the process will ultimately create a vision for the trail between Bonanza Drive and Highway 40.

In addition to trail and safety improvements, the city is also looking to gauge public interest in other areas as well. Things like connections with other local trails and integration with alternate forms of transportation in Park City are also options.

The city will he hosting an open house on the effort next Wednesday, November 17th.

Now-retired Mountain Trails Executive Director Charlie Sturgis has been brought on as a special consultant to the project. He told KPCW he’s happy to be part of the process.

“I love to stay involved, and there was an opportunity to talk about the Rail Trail and see what will come next for it, so I’m excited to be involved,” he said. 

Park City Trails & Open Space Manager Heinrik Deters says Sturgis probably knows the Rail Trail better than almost anyone in Park City.

Additionally, local transportation planning firm Fehr & Peers was granted a $150,000 contract earlier this year to help compile data and develop a draft master plan with Deters and his staff at city hall.

The Rail Trail is owned by Utah State Parks, not Park City, but the city has approached the state about taking over management the 2.75 miles of trail inside city limits. That process is still ongoing.

Deters said the Rail Trail corridor is up to 100 feet wide in places, and presents a range of opportunities for improvements. He said the first part of the process is gathering public input on what the community wants the Rail Trail to be before moving forward on any other plans.

“When you look through that lens and you look at the wetlands associated with it, and some of the trails like the old wagon trail that a lot of people use, that’s all in that corridor," Deters said. "Understanding that here’s the canvas, what do you want to do? A little? A lot? It’s gotta go through a permitting, what is it? We want to hear from you.”

Wednesday’s meeting will be from 5-7pm at The Prospector hotel on Sidewinder Drive. More information on the master plan process can be found here.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.