Get up! Get on up– James Brown
Each spring, for nearly 30 years running, the MTF trail crew has initiated the ritual of chasing the swiftly receding snowpack up the mountainside. During this glacial retreat, there are hundreds of trees to clear, thick vegetation to cut back and dozens of signs to install. We’ll also take advantage of precious moisture to perform some hand-work on blown-out bermed turns and washboard from last season’s adventures, as well as adding drainage features where needed.
In addition to our general maintenance program, we have yet another ambitious dirt agenda this season, one that includes the completion of two major projects from last season, as well as four, brand-spanking-new projects. Each of these dirt endeavors is unique in that they are all “purpose-built”, meaning that there is an underlying objective (or objectives) for each of these new trails.
Out in the rolling high desert terrain of the City-owned Clark Ranch parcel, just east of highway 40, we’ve begun work on what will be a 4-5 mile long, multi-use, directional loop. While this trail will be open to all trails users, it is being designed with electric mountain bikes (eMTBs) in mind. There will be flow on the up as well as the down, with larger radius turns, open lines of sight and all bikes will be rolling safely in one direction. The project is being done collaboratively with Park City Municipal, which was awarded the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant (UORG).
Just a mile east of Clark Ranch as the crow flies, along the north end of the Jordanelle Reservoir, the Skyridge Development will be funding a new addition to their quickly growing trail system. We have contracted Singletrack Trails to build the Big Dipper: a 2-plus-mile, mountain bike only, downhill trail with nearly 1,000 feet of descent. This will complete a 6-mile loop when combined with the Milky Way trail built by MTF over the past two seasons. With its unique volcanic rock gardens and exposure, this flow trail will be unlike anything in Park City.
Lastly, on the early-season dirt docket will be the completion of the Big Easy trail, also funded by the UORG grant. With the addition of three miles of trail, we’ll complete a 5-mile loop that will circumnavigate the Round Valley open space. This new “artery” trail will provide endless loop opportunities with existing trails and will be easily accessible from four of the six Round Valley trailheads. In addition to dispersing use, this multi-faceted trail will be the only true “beginner” trail with several “bailout points” and a wider footprint that will also accommodate adaptive cyclists. In winter months, it will also transition into an amazing fat bike loop, enabling cyclists and other winter trail enthusiasts to completely bypass the wider, Nordic offerings.
If this isn’t enough to get your trail juices flowing, look for beta on some exciting upper elevation projects next month…