New trails, parks and signs: A look at the 99 outdoors projects to receive grants from Utah in 2021

New trails, parks and signs: A look at the 99 outdoors projects to receive grants from Utah in 2021

(Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A $500,000 grant toward the construction of nearly 25 miles of new bike trail east of Zion National Park highlighted the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation's seventh annual outdoors grant.

However, that was just the start. The agency last week finalized the 98 other projects set to receive another $7.1 million in grant spending.

The complete list of projects, which covers projects across 23 of Utah's 29 counties, is expected to cost $54.4 million, with other funding covering the remaining costs. The projects include everything from the new bike trail in Kane County near Zion National Park to dock extensions at the Great Salt Lake to even outdoor-themed public education projects.

At 99 total projects and nearly $7.6 million in grants, 2021 is now the largest cycle in Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant's brief history. The Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, which is a part of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, began distributing money for outdoor recreation projects back in 2015; it distributed nearly $6 million toward 59 projects last year.

Money from the grants usually comes from the state transient room tax, which is collected when people book hotels or other lodging; however, the Utah Legislature approved $4 million in one-time additional spending toward the grant in 2021.

The increase in grant funds came as recreation, especially on state and local-managed public lands, experienced a large uptick last year. Pitt Grewe, director of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, called the rise in the use of Utah's trails and campgrounds in 2020 "mind-blowing."

"Communities are seeing the need to renovate decades-old trails or build new ones after seeing the demand increasing from both their residents and tourists," he said, in a statement Tuesday. "We're happy to award these matching funds to enable cities, towns, counties and nonprofits across Utah to invest in the outdoor recreation projects for which their residents are asking. The grants will enable communities to build a wide range of projects from trails and fishing piers to archery ranges for the enjoyment of both locals and visitors."

Dan Hemmert, executive director for the Governor's Office of Economic Development, which oversees the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, said outdoor recreation opportunities are a key component to the state's quality of life.

It's a major reason that the grant program was started. The point of the program is to better help fund outdoors-related infrastructure projects.

"The continued investment provided by the Office of Outdoor Recreation's grant programs in outdoor recreation infrastructure will have lasting effects on the health and strength of its residents, businesses and the economy," Hemmert said.

These are the 99 projects that received grants in 2021.

Note: The organizations that received the grant and the county of the project are in parentheses.

Regional Asset Tier grants

These are grants for large-scale projects with a value over $2 million total. The maximum allotted for a regional asset grant is $500,000.

  • Phase II: Establishing a World-Class Mountain Bike Trail System (Zion National Park Forever Project — Kane County): $500,000
  • Pahvant Mtn. Bike Trail System - Phase 3 (Richfield City Trails Committee — Sevier County): $333,070
  • Bowery Haven Marina Renovation at Fish Lake (Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Sevier Chapter — Sevier County): $300,000
  • Provo River Trail 2300 North improvements (Provo City Parks and Recreation — Utah County): $300,000
  • Jordan River Parkway — Millcreek extension (Millcreek City — Salt Lake County): $250,000
  • Logan River Blue Trail: 600 South/Mendon Road Access (Logan City — Cache County): $201,201
  • American Fork Boat Harbor (American Fork City — Utah County): $150,000
  • Juniper Canyon Recreation Area Phase 1 (Herriman City — Salt Lake County): $150,000

An undated photo of the Logan River Blue Trail. Logan City received a $201,201 grant for a project to provide better access to it.
An undated photo of the Logan River Blue Trail. Logan City received a $201,201 grant for a project to provide better access to it. (Photo: Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation)

Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant: Tier 1

These are grants for new outdoor recreation infrastructure projects that "(help) communities build recreation amenities that support local economic development," according to the Governor's Office of Economic Development. The maximum allotted in this category is $150,000.

  • Bryce Canyon City Ice Ribbon (Bryce Canyon Recreation Association — Garfield County): $150,000
  • Buckskin Hills Ski and Snow Tubing Hill (Uintah County Travel & Tourism — Uintah County): $150,000
  • Cottonwood Creek Trail (Roosevelt City Corporation — Duchesne County): $150,000
  • Ferron City's Adventure Hub, phase two (Ferron City — Emery County): $150,000
  • Grand County Colorado River Pathway (Grand County): $150,000
  • Homestead Trail Phase I (Midway City — Wasatch County): $150,000
  • Interpretive Greeting Site at Bridal Veil Falls (Utah Open Lands — Utah County): $150,000
  • Ivins City Old Highway 91 Shared Use Trail Connection (Ivins City Parks and Recreation — Washington County): $150,000
  • Kanab Archery Complex (Kanab City Recreation — Kane County): $150,000
  • Mt. Pleasant Trails System and Amenities Project (Mt. Pleasant City — Sanpete County): $150,000
  • Salina City Bike/Walking Path (Salina City Corporation — Sevier County): $150,000
  • Sheep Bridge Nature Preserve near Zion-Outdoor Rec Infrastructure (The Nature Conservancy — Kane County): $150,000
  • Sunrise Meadows Bike Park (Saratoga Springs City — Utah County): $150,000
  • Tooele City - England Acres Paved Recreation Trail (Tooele City — Tooele County): $150,000
  • Wasatch Boulevard Shared Trailhead and Nature Park (Cottonwood Heights City — Salt Lake County): $150,000
  • Pine Valley Ranger District Trail Networks: Phase I (Trails Utah — Washington County): $110,000
  • Trippin' to Tropic (Garfield County School District — Garfield County): $108,500
  • Bonneville Shoreline Trail, Fruit Heights (City of Fruit Heights — Davis County): $103,953
  • Brush Creek/Ages Trails and Trailhead (Dino Trails Committee — Uintah County): $100,000
  • Kay's Creek Trail Highway 89 Underpass (Layton City Parks and Recreation Department — Davis County): $100,000
  • Parleys Trail - 900 West to Jordan River Parkway Trail (Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation — Salt Lake County): $100,000
  • Rose Park Pumptrack (Salt Lake City Corporation — Salt Lake County): $100,000
  • Yellow Fork & Butterfield Canyons - Non-Motorized Regional Trails (Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation — Salt Lake County): $100,000
  • The Slate Creek Trail System, Phase 2 (South Summit Trails Foundation — Summit County): $90,937
  • The Perimeter Trail at Jordanelle State Park (Mountainland Association of Governments — Wasatch County): $80,000
  • Manzanita Trail System - Phase II (Brian Head Town — Iron County): $75,000
  • Promontory Outdoor Learning and Adventure Park Low Ropes Course (Promontory School of Expeditionary Learning — Box Elder County): $75,000
  • Clark Ranch Trailhead and E-mountain Bike Trails (Park City Municipal Corporation — Summit County): $67,292
  • Orangeville Walking Path Phase 2 (Orangeville City Corporation — Emery County): $66,000
  • Tilted Mesa Mountain Bike Trails near Kanab (Kane County): $65,000
  • Phase II Expanding Access & Outdoor Programs in Professor Valley (Canyonlands Field Institute — Grand County): $62,000
  • Bonanza Flat to Upper WOW Trail Connection (Wasatch Trails Foundation — Wasatch County): $60,000
  • G Hill Trail System (G Hill Trails Committee under Gunnison City — Sanpete County): $60,000
  • Beaver Bench Mountain Bike Trail Phase 3 (Beaver County) $50,000
  • Bluff River Trail (Bluff City Historic Preservation Association — San Juan County): $49,857
  • Ophir Canyon Ropes Challenge Course (Tooele Education Foundation — Tooele County): $45,000
  • Vialetto Point Hiking Trails (Traverse Mountain Trails Association — Utah County): $45,000
  • Monroe Canyon View Park Landing Strip (Monroe City — Sevier County): $42,000
  • Basin-Area Wayfinding Phase 2 (Summit County Transportation Department — Summit County: $39,274
  • California Avenue Rowing Center (Utah Crew — Salt Lake County): $26,250
  • Camp Rendezvous Shower Facility at American West Heritage Center (American West Heritage Center — Cache County): $25,000
  • Alta, Utah, Informational Trailhead Signs (Town of Alta — Salt Lake County): $22,000
  • Archery Range at Antelope Island State Park (Friends of Antelope Island — Davis County): $20,000
  • Ghost Road Walking/Biking Path (Castle Dale City — Emery County): $20,000

Utah Outdoor Recreation Mini-Grant

These are similar to "Tier 1" grants but smaller projects. The maximum allotted in this category is $10,000.

  • Crosstown Trail Signs, A Pathway through West Valley City (West Valley City Parks & Recreation — Salt Lake County): $10,000
  • Farr West City Neighborhood Street Bikeways (Farr West City Trails & Active Transportation — Weber County): $10,000
  • Herriman Trail Safety Improvements (Herriman City — Salt Lake County): $10,000
  • Jensen Nature Park Shoreline Reimagination (Syracuse City Parks & Recreation — Davis County): $10,000
  • Millcreek City Center Bike Infrastructure (Millcreek City — Salt Lake County): $10,000
  • North Logan Bonneville Shoreline Trail Extension (North Logan City — Cache County): $10,000
  • Winter Ski Trail (Payson City Recreation — Utah County): $10,000
  • Woodland Hills Park and Trail Enhancements (Woodlands Hills Outdoors — Utah County): $10,000
  • Ephraim City Disc Golf Course Project (Ephraim City — Sanpete County): $9,800
  • Active Learning for All on the Coal Creek Trail (Southern Utah University — Iron County): $6,542.64
  • Piute County 4-H Shooting Range (Piute County 4-H / USU Extension Service — Piute County): $5,000
  • Helper City Solar Trail (Helper City — Carbon County): $4,870
  • Hyde Park Canyon Loop Trail & Amenity Construction (Cache County): $3,724.62
  • Wasatch Mountain State Park Trails - 7 Bicycle Repair Stations (Wasatch Community Foundation — Wasatch County): $3,535.83
  • Personal Watercraft Dock Extension (Great Salt Lake Rowing — Salt Lake County): $2,900
  • Hurricave Platform and Trail Construction (Southern Utah Climbers Alliance — Washington County): $2,500
  • The Long-Bow Archery Range at American West Heritage Center (American West Heritage Center — Cache County): $2,000

Recreation Restoration Infrastructure grants

These funds are awarded to projects that restore "high-use and high-priority trails" or replace other recreation infrastructure on public lands, according to economic development officials. Grants can range between $5,000 and $150,000.

A rock climber in Utah. Salt Lake Climbers Alliance received a grant to help repair fixed anchors across the Wasatch.
A rock climber in Utah. Salt Lake Climbers Alliance received a grant to help repair fixed anchors across the Wasatch. (Photo: Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation)

  • Minersville Lake Campground Restoration Project (Beaver County): $150,000
  • Soldier Hollow Snowmaking Restoration (Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation — Wasatch County): $150,000
  • Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Non-Motorized Trail Restoration 2022 (Utah State University Utah Conservation Corps — Summit County): $145,000
  • Vermilion Castle Picnic Area Restoration (Iron County): $119,092
  • Weber County Trail System Restoration - North Fork (Trails Foundation of Northern Utah — Weber County): $75,140
  • Fish Lake non-motorized trail reconstruction (Sevier County Economic Development — Sevier County): $50,000
  • Fixed Anchor Maintenance at Rock Climbing Areas Across the Wasatch (Salt Lake Climbers Alliance — Sanpete County): $50,000
  • Trail Restoration within Mills Park (Woods Cross City — Davis County): $50,000
  • Copper Creek Trail Restoration, Phase 1 (Herriman City — Salt Lake County): $32,000
  • Richfield City – Swimming Pool to Cemetery Bike Path (Richfield City Corporation — Sevier County): $27,995
  • Jordan River Peace Labyrinth Restoration Project (Hartland Community 4 Youth and Families — Salt Lake County): $17,000

Utah Outdoor Classroom grants

These are grants up to $10,000 for organizations or public schools to help educate Utah's K-12 students learn about and enjoy the outdoors.

  • Boulder Elementary School Greenhouse Classroom (Boulder Community Alliance — Garfield County): $10,000
  • CCID Outdoor Classroom - Pergola (The Center for Creativity, Innovation and Discovery — Cache County): $10,000
  • Dual Outdoor Classrooms At Wahlquist Junior High School (Wahlquist Junior High School — Weber County): $10,000
  • Holbrook Elementary Courtyard Classroom (Davis School District — Davis County): $10,000
  • Meadowbrook Elementary Creekside Classroom (Davis School District — Davis County): $10,000
  • Millcreek Monarch Learning Laboratory (Millcreek Promise — Salt Lake County): $10,000
  • Ogden Nature Center Outdoor Classroom (Ogden Nature Center — Weber County): $10,000
  • Outdoor Classroom At Pearl Baker Park (Epicenter — Emery County): $10,000
  • Outdoor Learning at Utah Mountain School (Utah Mountain School — Weber County): $10,000
  • Outdoors at OPA (Ogden Preparatory Academy — Weber County): $10,000
  • Paiute Outdoor Classroom & Veterans Memorial (Southern Utah University — Iron County): $10,000
  • Promontory Outdoor Learning and Adventure Park Outdoor Classroom (Promontory School of Expeditionary Learning — Box Elder County): $10,000
  • Rose Park Learning Gardens at Ravena Finau Fairway (Backman Elementary School — Salt Lake County): $10,000
  • Syracuse Elementary Outdoor Learning Club (Davis School District — Davis County): $10,000
  • The Healthy Communities Sport Spot: Accessible Winter Recreation (Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation — Wasatch County): $10,000
  • Tahvai Sunrise Outdoor Classroom (Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School — Washington County): $9,854
  • SLCSE Outdoor Classrooms: Orchard, Bikes, Birds and Kids (Salt Lake Center for Science Education — Salt Lake County): $9,000
  • Bears Ears Education Center Outdoor Classroom (Friends of Cedar Mesa — San Juan County): $6,000
  • The Canyon Country Outdoor Learning Center (Canyon Country Discovery Center — San Juan County): $2,700

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for


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