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DRAPER — Looking for a new running or biking trail? Your options within the Wasatch Front are growing.
This week, Draper and Lehi city officials celebrated the opening of a new trail at the two cities’ border which links over 30 miles of trails together between Salt Lake and Utah counties. White City and Sandy officials celebrated the opening of the White City Canal Trail, which continuously connects White City to the Porter Rockwell Trail at the county borders.
Neither trail is extensively long, but they both provide connections for anyone recreating to other routes around the two counties.
Draper Mayor Troy Walker and Lehi Mayor Mark Johnson lauded the new connection trail on Tuesday as the first “extensive” trail connection system east of I-15 between Salt Lake and Utah counties. The connection links the Porter Rockwell Trail in southern Salt Lake County and the Murdock Canal Trail in northern Utah County, which, in turn, leads to connections with the Jordan River and Provo River parkways.
In a joint statement, the two mayors said work to connect the trail systems took several years and to see it to come into fruition is “very rewarding for our cities.”
The White City Canal Trail opened the following day, which follows the old White City canal.
According to the Salt Lake County website, the project aimed to develop a 12-foot wide paved multi-use path that was accessible for pedestrians and bicycles, and was also friendly for those with disabilities. It also includes a 6-foot wide gravel trail along the canal corridor. It was funded through a 2016 bond that passed.
The project gained mixed reactions from residents in 2019.
The path stretches from Big Bear Park, 930 E Onyx Lane in White City, to 10600 South with a 347-foot bridge over Dimple Dell Regional Park at about 800 East. A final segment that is expected to be completed later this year will connect 9400 South to Big Bear Park.
The trail ultimately ends at the start of the Sandy Canal Trail. White City Mayor Paulina Flint said it will connect Big Bear Park to the Porter Rockwell Trail.
In addition, Flint said the trail provides a safety enhancement. Previously, people would have to walk or bike along Sego Lily Drive to get to complete the route, which she called dangerous because it included segments without sidewalks.
“This is so valuable, this trail, for all of our communities,” she said. “This is the best thing that’s happened to White City in many years, and we have fought for many years to keep Dimple Dell safe.”
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, who spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the White City Canal Trail Wednesday, said Salt Lake County was “working hard” to find ways to connect urban trails in Salt Lake County.
The two trails that opened this week aid in that effort.
“The vision is that you can live really anywhere in the county and safely move around the community for either recreation or transportation by bicycle,” she said. “The (Americans with Disabilities Act) access now is so special — to be able to hear a person with a physical challenge to be able to cross Dimple Dell, so that’s amazing as well.”