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Cross-country skiing now offered at Green Heart of the Basin

Caitlin Willard
The Osguthorpe farm known as the Green Heart of the Basin is now open for cross-country skiing.

Cross-country skiers have a new opportunity to get out on the trails thanks to the Summit Land Conservancy.

A new 5k cross-country skiing loop is now open in the Snyderville Basin. The Green Heart of the Basin at the Osguthorpe Farm has its grand opening Wednesday.

The trail is free to the public and access comes through a ski lease paid for by the Mountain Trails Foundation and Summit Land Conservancy with help from the Promontory Foundation and private donations during KPCW’s Summer Pledge Drive. The Summit Land Conservancy raised over $19,000 last August with the help of KPCW listeners.

Summit Land Conservancy Executive Director Cheryl Fox said Promontory and an anonymous donor helped raise money last summer.

“On KPCW, we had a donor who would help us fund the ski lease if we got a certain amount of money for KPCW," said Fox. "All those people who called in and supported KPCW also helped us provide the funding for the ski lease out on the Osguthorpe Farm.”

Access to the trail will be from Willow Creek Park. Fox said 160 acres are currently under preservation and there’s potentially room for more trails in the future.

The trail will be groomed by Basin Recreation and is open to cross-country skiers only. No hikers, bikers, dogs, or snowshoers allowed. Fox said people need to respect the rules and be sensitive to the fact they are recreating on land that is also an active farm.

“This is private property and this family has agreed to allow us onto their property for cross-country skiing only," she said. "During the rest of the year it’s a working farm so we have to be respectful and careful of the soils that are there, as well as the equipment that they have.”

The Land of Oz, another Osguthorpe property, is closed to cross-country skiers this winter because the soil was tilled to prepare for farming later this year.

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.