The Trailhead
TNL's Quarterly Newsletter | Spring 2021
Abuzz with the Promise of Spring
A Message From Trails and Natural Lands Division Director, Lewis Kogan
Hello friends, and happy spring! I will hazard my opinion here that spring is the most beautiful season in Salt Lake City. As the world around us is transformed with bright blossoms, the sounds of birdsong, and the smell of clean air and growing things, all the living world seems to be emerging from slumber. With the city is in bloom, I love taking my kids to explore our local natural areas and mosey along our favorite trails. 

As the cloud of COVID-19 begins to lift, the arrival of spring feels especially symbolic. After a year of many goals forced into hibernation, what better time to throw our full energy into making our ambitious projects and lofty aspirations burst into bloom? As you’ll see in this newsletter, the Trails & Natural Lands Division is working overtime on a wide array of projects and initiatives to make SLC more environmentally resilient, improve access to nature and the outdoors for everyone, and best of all, to make this a wonderful place to live and play. Read on… There is much to celebrate, and even more to get you stoked for what’s ahead.

See you on the trail!

Welcome to the Trailhead
This newsletter also comes in a designed PDF version to print and share with your committees, HOAs, civic clubs, customers, and colleagues.
Spring Advisories: What You Need To Know
Resurfacing 9Line Bike Park

The annual resurfacing of the 9Line Bike Park is now complete. The pump track and return lines are all new and should be challenging for all skill levels. Visitors should expect, however, rolling closures of all or parts of the park over the next month.

Closures will be weekdays during business hours as our crew works to smooth everything out and achieve maximum compaction of the new surfaces. The new lines are in their most fragile state right now and we ask parents of little ones to monitor them closely. If riding turns into just running around on the track, that may be your cue to head to a playground.
Fascines in Parley's Historic Nature Park (PHNP)

We recently implemented a unique approach—bundles of sticks—to improve the eroded creekbank in Parley’s Historic Nature Park. You know the bank, under the bridge, where dogs enter the creek to play. These bundles are called fascines. (see photo)

Not only do fascines help stabilize the creekbank, but they help filter runoff into the creek as well, gradually improving water quality. You can see photos and learn more about these fascinating fascines on our blog.
Also Happening at PHNP

Slated for early May, our fencing contractor will start work to continue repairs and further protect natural areas within the preserve. We know May is a busy month in PHNP; we appreciate your patience as we make improvements in this area. 
April Showers Bring More Than Flowers

We highlighted this murky issue in the last edition of the Trailhead, but we’re giving it a re-boot here because if there’s one thing April showers bring more than May flowers, it’s a lot of muddy trails. Here are some key trail etiquette points to remember when encountering those muddy patches on your runs, hikes, and rides.
Go Early.
Your best bet to log those dirt miles is to go before the sun and rising temps begin to turn the trail into a muddy mess.

Go Back.
The best rule of thumb is to avoid those muddy trails. If it sticks to your wheels, heels or paws turn around. A dry trailhead doesn’t necessarily mean a dry trail throughout. 

Go Through.
If you’re forced to cross a muddy section, choose to go through the middle. Traveling along the edge damages the trail and widens it over time.
Invasive Weed Species Awareness
In this season of new growth, not every green shoot is welcome. Combating invasive species is an ongoing battle, but now is the prime time to remove these pesky and harmful invaders. Four of our most wanted criminals to be aware of are Myrtle Spurge, Scotch Thistle, Dyer’s Woad, and Goatheads/Puncturevine. Click the button below to read descriptions, see images, and learn about removal tactics to join us in this fight against noxious weeds that are invading our natural and recreation areas.
Springtime Recreation Opportunities Abound
Hillside with biker riding on single track natural land trails with blooming yellow wildflowers
Popperton Park Trails Offer Something for Everyone

All trails in Popperton Park are open and ready for hikers and bikers. These new trails built in 2020 are easily accessible by car, bus, or bike and are very family and (on-leash) pet friendly, so bring the kids! Popperton Park has several different trail areas each with its own emphasis for activity and use. West Popperton is for hiking only, and bikes are welcome in East and South Popperton. Go explore this little trail oasis tucked into the lower foothills of Salt Lake and find a nearby natural escape you’ll want to return to again and again. 
More Boat Ramps and a Water Trail Grand Opening

The development of more and better boat ramps for entry and exit along the Jordan River is a key component to the creation of the Jordan River Water Trail, which will see its formal Grand Opening later in May. To this end, the Fisher Mansion Boat Ramp & Gadsby Boat Ramp on North Temple will both be complete and ready for use later this month.
Urban Fishing Opportunities

Did you know, there is a popular urban fishery right here in the heart of Salt Lake City? If not, pack your tackle box and fishing rod, and check out Fairmont Pond, located in historic Fairmont Park in Salt Lake City’s Sugarhouse neighborhood. Stocked by Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), our local watering hole is home to Rainbow Trout and Channel Catfish. Be sure to register for a fishing license through and stay up to date with the state’s rules and regulations. We hope to catch you out on the pond!
Did You Know?
Trail News and Enhancements Across TNL
Hiking the Bonneville Shoreline Trail

The BST – East City Creek Trail from Bonneville Blvd (Salt Dome/Lower City Creek) up to Meadow Trail is now open for hikers and uphill biking. This is not a downhill biking trail. We appreciate your efforts to keep it that way. Be sure to check our Trails Updates blog often for up-to-date maps and signage, trail developments, public announcements, and more.
New Trails and Recent Openings in the Foothills Natural Area
Avenues Ridge Trail

The Avenues Ridge Trail is now open for hiking from the Meadow Trail up to the summit for an out-and-back hike, or circling back for a loop hike on the BST. The perfect playground for a warm spring day.

19th Avenue Bike Trail

On The long way is over; the downhill bike trail now known as 19th Avenue is complete and open for business.

The barricade has been removed and the whole length is ready to ride. Please note, this trail is designated for downhill biking only. Enjoy!

Terrace Hills

And now for some accountability. We told you that we’d be realigning a 1/3-mile segment of the BST north of Terrace Hills Drive in order to create a more sustainable trail route, and, well, we did!

Started. Finished. Re-opened. Presto!

Active closure of the eroding ridgeline jeep trail has now begun with trenching, fencing, and signage to minimize future erosion and start the rehabilitation of the natural lands. Plans for re-vegetation are also underway. 

Twin Peaks Construction Update

We gave a heads up when construction was looming, but now, as of April 13, the new Twin Peaks hiking trail work has officially begun. This trail will replace some deteriorating and frequently used social trails along various ridges. Look for a hopeful Twin Peaks trail completion by Memorial Day!

As we’ve mentioned previously, we don’t anticipate any trail closures, so please practice sensible awareness and caution along with your best trail etiquette while navigating this area.
What Are Social Trails and Why Should We Avoid Them?
Social trails are informal, unofficial trails that often negatively impact the environment. Here’s a good definition from the Trails and Open Space Coalition: “A social trail is defined as an informal, non-designated trail between two locations. Social trails often result in trampling stresses to sensitive vegetation types. As the definition implies, creating and using a social trail increases the amount of vegetation that is trampled.” It’s always a good idea to recreate just a little more responsibly with respect to the wild land on which we play, and to wildlife and other humans who play there, too. 
Stewardship & Volunteering with #SLCTrails
New Volunteer Portal Launched

Earlier this spring we launched our new volunteer calendar and sign-up portal at

In just a few short weeks, nearly 400 of you have signed up to volunteer for events, and we’ve seen several familiar faces more than once!

We hope you’ve found it easy to browse our project listings and register for the events you’ve wanted to attend.

From collecting thousands of pounds of garbage in and around the Jordan River, to battling weeds and rebuilding trails in the foothills, the work we do simply could not be possible without committed volunteers like you. 

You can peruse our calendar of events and sign-up to participate by clicking the button below.
Why Volunteer with Trails and Natural Lands?

  • Learn new skills you can use in your own backyard
  • Meet people who share your passion for nature
  • Enjoy fresh air, beautiful scenery, and abundant wildlife
  • Help preserve a local oasis for people and nature

In the Spotlight: Volunteer Appreciation

Dedicated volunteers are at the heart of our public lands, and some of them have truly given so much of their time and energy to keeping our parks and trails beautiful. We’d like to introduce you to two such volunteers who serve at Allen Park: 
Patrick DePaulis

Patrick has been living in the Allen Park area for 21 years, so it was only natural that when the park needed someone to keep up with the day-to-day maintenance, he was the perfect person for the job. We’re inspired by Patrick’s dedication and enthusiasm. When it comes to someone who truly embodies the spirit of being a public land steward, Patrick is Exhibit A. Thanks, Patrick!

Yda Smith

Feeding the birds in Allen Park is more than a tuppence-worth of effort. Since last July, Yda has been taking excellent care of the peacocks in this sanctuary. An action-oriented advocate for their sustenance and safety, Yda also takes daily walks in the park to help with trash removal and weeding. Her loving commitment to protect this historic location is as admirable as it is impressive. Thank you, Yda!

Spring Eats: From Wild Field to Garden Table

Springtime in Utah offers a rich assortment of wild edibles to the adventurous eater. One person’s weed could be another’s wildflower salad. Consider the dandelion and its cousin the chicory weed. The dandelion offers many culinary opportunities alongside its vibrant yellow bloom. Use the root for an aromatic herbal tea or sauté the leaves for a fresh twist in your favorite side dishes.

Just as easily identifiable, the chicory weed can be found along the foothills of Utah and in our neighboring Wasatch Hollow. The soft blue flowers and leaves offer a nutty, woodsy flavor that warmly enhances a fresh-harvested spring salad! Do take care, when locating and foraging for our friendly weeds, to be thorough in identifying, washing and preparing the wild bounty. Share your tasty recipes and tag us at #SLCTrails! 
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