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Wasatch County opens new trails, plans multi-county system

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SkyRidge Mountain Community
New trails around the Jordanelle Reservoir are only part of the Wasatch County planning department's focus for outdoor recreation opportunities in the near future.

In a busy year for development in Wasatch County, new trails were a primary focus - with new routes recently put in place and plans for more to come on the horizon.

A new perimeter trail around the Jordanelle Reservoir is now open to the public. In addition, two trailheads that access it and other trails in the SkyRidge development north of the Jordanelle have also just opened. Also new, a hard-surface trail runs from the Jordanelle Fire Station to the county line and connects to routes into Park City.

There may be much more to come. Last week, Wasatch County planners “walked out” an alignment to expand a multi-purpose rail trail that connects Vivian Park along Provo Canyon Road to Utah Lake. The county’s looking to connect the rail trail to the Deer Creek Dam trailhead, which runs to the Wasatch Mountain State Park Chalet near Soldier Hollow.

“The intent would be to have a trail system that would connect all the way from Utah Lake up to the Jordanelle and into Park City and into Coalville and down into Parleys Canyon at some point. We’re trying to break it into sections because it’s such an expensive trail,” said Doug Smith, Wasatch County planning director.

A recent estimate of the Vivian Park to Deer Creek Dam connection was around $30 million. So, the county’s seeking grants from agencies like the Utah Department of Transportation and Mountainland Association of Governments.

“It’s whether UDOT will come up with that money and allow that - at some point, it’s got to go in, but with the way materials and labor are going up, it seems like on a daily basis, it’s getting more and more difficult,” Smith said. “But the plans are in place, we’ve been working on it for several years, we’re hopeful that the funding will be allowed some grants will come through and we can build that portion.”

The trail developments were part of a “crazy year” for the Wasatch County planning department. Smith said his office, which shrank from two to four during the fall, has handled 180 planning applications year-to-date, not including 450 building permits.

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