The Provo River trail, which connects Vivian Park in Provo Canyon to Utah Lake, is one of the most popular recreational attractions in Utah County.
In fact, local officials estimate it is used by 55,000 people on a regular basis. Which is why county officials have plans to create a paved 50-mile half loop trail along north side of Utah Lake.
Currently, there are three paved trails around the lake, albeit disconnected ones. There’s a trail near the Provo Boat Harbor called Skipper Bay Trail, which also connects to the Provo River Trail. A second trail exists a few miles north alongside the Lindon Marina. And a third trail is located along the westside of the lake by Saratoga Springs. Unlike the first two, however, this trail is only partially paved.
So how long will it take official to connect the dots? “The completion of the Utah Lake Trail is several years out,” said Richard Nielson, Utah County Public Works Director, in a recent Utah Lake Commission meeting. “The county will continue to work on sections not yet built, depending upon the available funding.”
To help with budgeting, the county hopes to partner with cities, private developers, and even the Utah Transit Authority towards completing unfinished parts of the trail (shown on this map by dotted green lines). In fact, most of the existing trails have been built in conjunction with developments and other projects. The goal moving forward is to continue that and have participating groups adopt a model development ordinance, which includes trail completion.
The reason: “It will be a good amenity for the people of Utah County,” Nielson says. For Utah Lake, the new trail system introduces even more access points to the lake, as the trails will serve as connectors to other valley trails, including a proposed trail alongside the new road from Provo Airport to I-15.
“In the distant future, a goal is to see a trail all the way around the lake,” Nielson says. The northside half loop is just the start.
Photo courtesy Utah Birders