Logan's Tubing Canal to Close

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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- A popular recreation spot in Cache County will be closed after Labor Day, leaving northern Utah with one less place to cool off each summer.

People will lose access to Logan Canyon's "tubing canal" because state and local officials said the parking area is unsafe. The Logan, Hyde Park, Smithfield Canal has been a beat-the-heat recreation spot for decades.

Officials said the parking area poses a risk because it sits on a blind corner. Four crashes occurred at the access point, about a mile from the Stokes Nature Center, during the July 4 holiday, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

"They've had some near misses, and these kids are getting in and out of their cars with tubes," Logan Mayor Randy Watts said. "It's become a very dangerous situation."

In addition to traffic troubles, the canal has been vandalized, litter often is scattered about and some have tried to dam it off with rocks, UHP Sgt. Tony Hutson said.

Department of Transportation spokesman Andy Neff said the decision to close the parking area on U.S. 89 was not made quickly. Public meetings are planned to see if an alternative can be found.

One option: a shuttle drop for tubers at the mouth of the canal.

"We're not throwing in the towel," Watts said. "I'm hoping we can work through some kind of a solution so maybe kids can still float."

Cache County Executive Lynn Lemon supports efforts to make the area safer.

"We'll work with Logan city and the Utah Highway Patrol to try to make sure that whatever happens, we try to improve it without closing it off," he said.

Information from: The Herald Journal

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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