BLM may add 100 miles of biking trails in southern Utah

Posted at 8:29 PM, Nov 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-20 22:29:54-05

CEDAR CITY, Utah - Mountain bikers in southern Utah may soon have more options for outdoor exploration; the Bureau of Land Management is considering a plan to develop 100 miles of trails east of Cedar City.

It’s being called the Red Hills Area Recreation Trails. BLM managers said the International Mountain Biking Association approached them about developing a formal trail system. The area is already used for mountain biking and hiking, and the project would clear paths and set signs.

“We’ve seen a lot of pioneered trails by people just building trails where they want to ride, and those aren’t always sustainable,” said BLM recreation planner Dave Jacobson. “So we want to go in there and build trails that are sustainable and can be used by all sorts of people.”

The paths would be built in phases and hopefully come through grant money and volunteer work. Jacobson said they estimate the first 20-35 miles of trails would cost around $20,000. The trails would connect with existing walking paths maintained by the city, and Jacobson said they would essentially expand the options for recreation.

“Recreation benefits our communities, and the BLM has the land to benefit our communities with,” Jacobson said.

Regina Pabo walks the city-maintained Fiddler’s Canyon path every day, and she said the prospect of a larger trail system supports the reason many people enjoy living in southern Utah.

“It’s just wonderful to have all the outdoor activities, walking, hiking,” Pabo said. “It promotes good health and people love it here.”

The BLM hosted an open house Thursday on the SUU campus to get feedback from the public on the proposal. The agency will take public comment until November 24.

More information and maps of the proposed trail system can be found on the BLM’s website.