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SANDY — Salt Lake County residents upset about a plan to pave a popular trail gathered Saturday morning to raise awareness of the issue.
They say the trail pavement project planned for Dimple Dell Park threatens the serenity of a place they hold dear.
It's quite a feeling to be in the middle of a city and, yet, be away from it all. Lisa Caddy said she gets that feeling every time she visits the Sandy park, which stretches from 10000 South to 10600 South and 300 East to 3000 East.
"I can go down, and I pretend I've gone someplace else," Caddy said "The stresses of life — you can literally feel them fall off you."
Caddy and many of her fellow park users recently found out that Salt Lake County administrators have plans to pave the North Rim Trail — nearly 3 1/2 miles of asphalt, from the Wrangler Trailhead to Granite Park. They're not happy about it and rallied Saturday morning to help raise awareness of that plan.
The trail is currently paved with woodchips, which Caddy acknowledged "cost a pretty penny." She believes maintenance of an asphalt trail would cost much more.
The county set aside nearly $4.5 million to pave the trail — money approved by voters last year as part of a larger parks bond. But many who voted in favor of the bond said they didn't realize trail maintenance in the proposal meant pavement.
"We had no idea — because we read it very carefully and we looked and tried to find more information on their plan since it means so much to us, and there was nothing there that we could find," said Kat Peterson, who is also a frequent user of Dimple Dell Park.
Those against paving the trail say it would take away the natural feel of the place.
A spokeswoman from Salt Lake County's parks and recreation department said she understands the concerns this group has, but it's important to make this trail accessible to as many people as possible.
Caddy said she knows the county wants to make it easier for people who use wheelchairs or strollers, and she knows it would be easy for others to criticize her group, but she feels it's more than that. She thinks the unique place should stay unique, in a county growing every day.
"We want quiet. We want serenity. And we just want to experience nature," Caddy said.
The group also had a petition for people to sign at the Saturday event. For more information on their effort visit DimpleDellWild.com.