High Star Ranch set to offer public trails for Kamas Valley
May 17, 2016
At the end of the summer, local outdoor enthusiasts will be able to explore a new mountain bike trail system courtesy of the property owners of the High Star Ranch in Kamas.
Last week, the Kamas City Council unanimously approved the High Star Ranch Trails Master Plan including plans for approximately 16 miles of public trails on the city’s conservation easement. Kamas City holds two easements on the property, including an agricultural one.
"There were two trail easements that we made them (property owners) give the city that would possibly tie into another trial that goes towards Marion," said Kevan Todd, Kamas City Council member. "They recently came to us and said this is what we want to do with our portion of the conservation easement."
Several South Summit residents attended the City Council meeting, Todd said. He said residents have been approaching the city for years to create a more expansive trail system in the Kamas Valley, which is limited to equestrian and ATV trails.
"I’m excited for it and I think for High Star they have, from day one, said they wanted to be a part of Kamas and they have held true to their statement," Todd said.
High Star Ranch, which is anchored by the DeJoria Center, is owned by Mark J. Fischer and John Paul DeJoria. The Park Record was unable to reach Fischer for an interview.
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According to Todd, the trails will be built and maintained by High Star Ranch, creating no financial burden for the city. The trails will be built by a private trail building company and are expected to be complete toward the end of summer.
Bob Radke, Snyderville Basin Recreation District trails manager, lent his full support to the project, before adding that "I think it is the best thing ever."
"Trails are a great amenity to the community and I think it will really be a great thing over there because it’s in town and it’s really close," Radke said. "People can ride from home if they live in and easily access the trials. From what I heard, they will provide public parking and may even be planning a bike shop and little café.
"I think it will be a great little hub," Radke said. "It has the full support of the Kamas City Council and the South Summit Trails Foundation."
Tom Noaker, an Oakley resident and president of the South Summit Trails Foundation board, said the foundation is providing an ancillary role in the form of volunteered labor and support. He said the project falls directly in line with the organization’s desire to develop a nonmotorized trail system throughout the Kamas Valley.
"It’s actually the best possible scenario here. There are no losers and it’s all a win-win," Noaker said. "The city doesn’t have to finance or maintain them and it’s a significant piece of work for a new raw trail on previously untouched ground."
Noaker said the new system will include mountain biking trails of various difficulty levels with more than 3,000 feet in elevation gains.
"I’m really excited about it and I think this is an opportunity for us to create something here," Noaker said. "What we have now isn’t bad, but they don’t connect to anything or provide any opportunity expansion.
"These new trails are a ways off from riding, but this is the one of our first and best opportunities to get something done by August," he said.
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