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Weigh in on future of trails in Millcreek, Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood Canyons

Posted at 9:35 PM, May 16, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — Whether you hike, bike, climb or ski, there are many ways to recreate on public lands in Salt Lake County.

“We're all contributors here. We're all users here, and so if we're users, we should also make it part of our duty to take care of it,” said Dwight Curry. “You can get away from people very quickly if you want to, and so I love that. I love the fact that there’s trails for everybody.”

There’s some room for improvement though, he said.

“As a biker, I'm concerned because some of the new downhill trends are causing the trails to become dangerous for small kids,” said Curry.

For the first time, the Forest Service drafted a Tri-Canyons Trails Plan for Millcreek Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon. Right now, Utahns can comment on changes they want to see.

“We all know recreation’s increasing, it's getting more popular,” said Chelsea Phillippe, Visitor Management Program Manager for the Salt Lake Ranger District. “And so we want to meet that where it is and make sure we offer those opportunities, but as a land manager, make sure we're protecting the ecosystem.”

At a few of the major trailheads the Forest Service has posted QR codes that recreators can scan to take the survey. You don’t have to fill out the whole thing either; you can pick and choose what parts of the plan you want to comment on.

“You can click into a map and look at the trailhead infrastructure we're proposing and comment big picture or comment on each trailhead,” said Phillippe. “You can do the same, the trail network. There's a handful of recreation strategies to read through.”

Some recreators want to see more trails created.

“It would be nice to have a trail that runs all the way along the ridge line from the Pipeline Overlook all the way to Elbow Fork because that's a beautiful view up there, and right now it's kind of a bootleg trail, but it would be nice that if they’re going to build any new trails, to do that,” said Curry.

Others want to see more signs telling people to pick up after their pets.

“Just encouraging dog owners to take ownership of their dog's poop and carry it out,” said Elijah McBridge. “Making sure that you don't leave anything behind so that when we're out there, we're not seeing things that look like trash when we should be soaking in nature.”

The comment period for the Tri-Canyons Trails Draft Plan will go until the end of May.