The Foothill trails
The reason we’re here
Salt Lake City is a unique civic, economic and artistic hub located in the midst of stunning natural beauty. Our quality of life depends both on the city’s cosmopolitan offerings and on the ease of access to the surrounding environment that our geographical location provides.
For decades the trails in the Salt Lake City foothills have provided easy access to the outdoors for our friends and neighbors who enjoy the area for health, solitude and recreation.
Our city’s growth, however, is overloading the existing trails. Add to this the pandemic which has sent additional people outdoors in search of fresh air and social distance. Additional usage demands are coming from a host of user groups including younger hikers, dog walkers, trail runners and the incredible popularity of high school mountain biking. We have the space to accommodate all of these groups. But we don’t have enough trails and the right kind of management to accommodate all of our citizen-users.
As a result, the foothills trails are often crowded and can be the scene of unfortunate conflicts between users. These conditions adversely affect all users and user groups and reduce the enjoyment that being in nature should bring. It is currently a sub-optimal condition but there are sound remedies at hand.
The Salt Lake City Trails Alliance was formed to be part of the solution. We represent a broad mixture of users. We believe that the well-planned and managed construction of more trails is a big part of the solution. We support building a balanced mix of new trails in addition to the maintenance of existing trails to allow all Foothills trail users a positive and beneficial outdoor experience.
The reason we’re here
In some sense, the solution is no more complicated than building more trails. But we believe that any new trail construction must be carefully conceived, built and managed. Not only do the wishes of various user groups need to be addressed but aesthetics and the environment must be considered too. The safety of competing trail users must also be confronted. Demand is only going to increase and it is incumbent upon all users to work together to forge a way forward, a workable solution that will benefit not just our generation, but those who will embrace this area as their home in future.