Category: News

2022 UOR Grants for BST!

The Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation announced the 2022 recipients for its Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant Program. Among its awards of almost $11 million were several projects that complete and improve segments of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail!

  • Bountiful: $500,000 for its Trails Master Plan, including BST construction
  • Alpine: $77,000 to build a short paved connector between Lambert Park and the Three Falls area
  • Millcreek: $50,000 to build a 2 miles of BST on the face of Grandeur Peak, connecting Millcreek Canyon to Parley’s Canyon
  • Layton: $150,000 to reconstruct the Adams Canyon Trailhead, an important access to the BST
  • Cache County: $135,000 to build a trailhead at Deep Canyon, which will eventually provide access to the BST on the west side of the valley
  • Orem/Lindon/Pleasant Grove: $51,000 for various trail improvements, including signing several miles of recently designated BST
  • Weber County: $76,000 for reconstructing older sections of the BST to modern standards
  • Springville: $5,000 for expanding a trail system at the mouth of Hobble Creek, including a recently-designated segment of the BST

This is on top of BST-related awards in 2021 to Fruit Heights, Cottonwood Heights, Lehi, and North Logan. Thank you UOR for your commitment to this important regional trail!

Episode 8: Juab County

It’s finally time to kick off season 2! For our first episode (#8 overall), we took a bit of a detour into Juab County to check out the prospects for the BST extending to Nephi some day.

A couple fun short hikes through the Santaquin State Wildlife Management Area, including finding a beautiful canyon hiding in plain sight. That said, the prospects for the BST here probably aren’t great.

We hope you enjoy the shorter format. Our goal thos year is to release a 10 minute episode every couple weeks.

Episode 7 (finally)

Well, it took us a while as Spencer started a new job, but we have finally released Episode 7, hours before the end of 2021. This one rounds out Utah County, from Pleasant Grove to Lehi. It took us a bit longer to hike than we originally planned, and the video is a little longer than usual, because we found some additional unofficial trail we were able to use to almost connect this area. The northern cities (Alpine, Highland, Lehi, Draper) are currently working on a strategy for officially connecting the BST through this area, but there are some big obstacles at the moment.

This episode includes a great interview with my friend (and former student) Brandon Stocksdale, of the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program of the National Park Service. This little-known “non-Park” office of the NPS has been invaluable in Utah in getting stakeholders together to plan and build trails, including many sections of the BST. “The other” Brandon was instrumental in getting my own organization, the Utah Valley Trails Alliance, going.

New trails, new signs!

While the documentary is on hiatus (yes, we are still working on the production of Episode 7), I have been following up on some of the unfinished business along the trail in Utah County.

Dry Canyon, Lindon, October 30

The BST has been established here for a long time (see Episode 6), but it has not been signed well, and the area is a maze of trails, many of which we are finalizing as newly authorized trails. As my part of the signing effort for the new trail network, I installed 5 new signs (thanks donors!) at junctions of the new trails with the BST, especially where it is confusing which way the BST is. The adopters of those trails will be installing the corresponding plates soon. I have also been working with the new trail adopters, Utah DWR, Lindon City, and the Forest Service on some large maps to post at the kiosks at the Dry Canyon trailhead, hopefully to be installed soon!

Slate Canyon, Provo

At the end of Episode 4, we passed through a gravel pit in southern Provo. At the time, it was private property, through which the City was trying to negotiate a trail corridor with the developer. In July, the city announced that they were purchasing the entire 29 acres outright! This enabled us to immediately determine and designate an official BST route with very little red tape. The gravel pit is a real maze, and some remaining private parcels make some routes infeasible (including the one we hiked on air), but some of us from the Utah Valley Trails Alliance were able to work with Provo Parks & Recreation in September to map out an existing route that will work quite well. On November 11 and 12, I installed 9 new signs (thanks donors!) to navigate trail users through the maze. It could probably use a couple more. Next we will be seeking some larger funding to make some improvements in a couple bad spots, and soon Provo will begin the process of creating a master plan for the 180 acres they now own at the mouth of the canyon. It will be exciting!

Episode 5: Provo

Well, it took us a little longer to complete this time (yes, your donations would help Spencer devote more time to production), but we are excited to release our latest episode, in which we hiked through Provo from Slate Canyon to Provo Canyon. Highlights include

  • A great conversation with Mayor Michelle Kaufusi and Councilman George Handley about how and why cities support trails like the BST, and their plans for future development of the trail and associated trailheads.
  • A great drone shot of the Y trail.
  • A few more signs provided by our donors (including a dud).
  • Some of my favorite hidden gems in Provo Canyon.

Enjoy!

Episode 4: Springville

It’s been a few weeks, but we just released Episode 4, including our travels from Hobble Creek, through Springville, to Slate Canyon. As always, we couldn’t include everything we saw along the way, but highlights include:

  • An interview with Chris Morrill, who is spearheading the effort to extend the trail through the Hobble Creek Wildlife Management Area.
  • Installing 5 new signs at some confusing intersections, thanks to our generous donors
  • An interview with Laurie Weisler, who has graciously allowed the BST to pass through her backyard.
  • Exploration of the industrial history of South Provo and North Springville, including the limekilns and Columbia Steel
  • A visit with the folks at Conserve Utah Valley during one of their very successful service projects in Slate Canyon.

Enjoy!

Episode 3!

At long last, we’ve completed Episode 3: Spanish Fork and Mapleton. Spencer had a tough job editing it down to a reasonable length; I was too eager to talk about this stretch closest to our own home. Maybe one day we’ll release the Director’s Cut! 🙂

The highlight for me was a great conversation with Dr. Jack Oviatt, the world’s leading expert on the history of Lake Bonneville. We talk about the origins of the cross that overlooks Spanish Fork, and how Mapleton has acquired so much land along the BST. My 5 minute speech on the legend of Gibby vs. Mapleton got shortened to 25 seconds, but that’s probably for the best.

On to Springville and Provo! Episode 4 will feature interviews with citizens who are working to improve and extend the trail, and landowners who have allowed the trail to pass through their property.

Our First Trail Signs!

Your generous donations at work! Our initial project is to install several signs in Utah County. We have received permission from Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest to install signs on some confusing stretches of the trail on US Forest Service property. These first two were installed Thursday near the Dry Canyon trailhead in Lindon. We are using an experimental all-steel sign design that is not quite as natural looking as wood posts, but is significantly less expensive and so far, appears to be more durable and more difficult for vandals to remove (and much cheaper to replace if they do). Your donation of $25 pays for one of these signs, as well as about 15 seconds of one of our documentary episodes.

Next up, as part of Episode 4 in Springville and South Provo, which currently has several markers in good shape, we will be installing a couple more at some turns.

Episode 2 Drops!

Our first full episode is finally out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHkf_OE4kX4

It took us a while to get our website and everything up and running as well as filming this, but we are hoping to have an episode out every couple weeks. Our goal has been to have each episode be about 15 minutes long, so this one is longer than we’d like, but we hope you find it interesting. We appreciate your feedback on what we’re doing right and how we can improve in future segments.

Special thanks to our guest Matt Bekker for coming to talk about the natural hazards we see along the Bonneville shoreline; I’m excited for the guest we have lined up for our next episode, to talk about the history and geology of Lake Bonneville.

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