Message from the Director
In recent weeks, I have had the good fortune to work with an array of people who, in one way or another, have a hand in Park City’s trail system. They come from entities and spaces within the community that might surprise. For example: did you know that the Park City Chamber of Commerce is keenly supportive of the trail system? Or that the slightly less surprising, but still-not-obvious, Park City Fire District has a hand in the trails game? And what about that cool outdoor adventure teacher at Park City High School who takes kids out for trail work days and teaches trail etiquette? Seems everywhere I look, there is evidence that trails are an integral part of this Village.
In 1992, Mountain Trails Foundation was founded to quell tensions and pave a smooth path between Park City’s private landowners and an enthusiastic, but rogue, group of trail builders. The sport of mountain biking was in its infancy and a few visionaries, bandit trail builders though they were, imagined a whole new world. In their narrative of our town-to-be, outdoorspeople used flowing ribbons of singletrack to wander the enchanted open spaces rather than grind away on steep, loose, gravely, service roads.
Time warp 30 years to a place where there are now nearly 400 miles of sweet (and legal) singletrack entirely free to the public. Even more extraordinary, and unique in the world of trail access, is the fact that most of Park City’s world class trail system exists on private land – or land that has been preserved as open space. Do I hear a round of applause for Deer Valley/Alterra, Park City Mountain/Vail Resorts, Summit Land Conservancy, Utah Open Lands and select real estate developers? Thank you, thank you very much.
This remarkable community asset didn’t just appear. It happened intentionally, collaboratively and with a great deal of monetary investment by people like you and me. It took a village to make this happen – and to keep it happening decade after decade.
That is why, here at Mountain Trails, we honor every donor. From the $10 donor to the $100,000 donor, you are all part of the team that builds, maintains, grooms and protects Park City’s trails. In nearly nine years with MTF, what I’ve found to be true – and what keeps me smiling – is knowing that a person’s love for trails is not necessarily commensurate with the means to donate. The college kid who flips us ten bucks can be just as enthusiastic – and feels just as vested in the trails – as our major donors. How cool is that?
So, the next time your heels or wheels touch upon a trail, I hope you’ll remember that you are enjoying the fruits of a great, village-wide collaboration – landowners, donors, private business, government and Mountain Trails working together for the greatest trails on earth.
See you out there!
Lora Smith, Executive Director