New trails map released
May 26, 2009
Jason Cyr, an expert biker with White Pine Touring, would be lost without one. So would Carol Potter, the executive director of Mountain Trails Foundation.
The new trails map, released early last week, details more than 400 miles of trails in the Snyderville Basin. The map identifies a network of new routes branching out from Quinn’s Junction, Summit Park and Park City Moutain Resort.
A joint project of Park City Municipal, Synderville Basin Recreation and Mountain Trails, the map is available in 22 bike shops, outdoor outlets and grocery stores in Summit County for $2. It is also available at Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort, The Canyons and the Park City Visitors Center.
The $2 price tag is a donation. Proceeds from the 20,000 double-sided maps go toward trails upkeep. Crews from Basin Recreation and Mountain Trails spend hundreds of hours each year cutting and sweeping away vegetation and fighting the ongoing battle against erosion.
Bikers, hikers, walkers and horseback riders have flocked to retailers to snatch copies of the trails map, now calibrated with distances thanks to the use of Global Positioning trackers. "The map is so huge and so many people use it," Potter said. "It’s a labor of love and the first sign of spring. This is the trail map of all trail maps."
The map displays new trails, such as the Flying Dog near Guardsman’s Pass as well as old favorites such as Shadow Lake and Spiro. Cartographers flipped the map for Park City Mountain to read from the bottom up, like ski maps of the mountain, for greater ease, said Rick Fournier, who helps maintain trails for Mountain Trails.
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"I think it’s a lot cleaner, and the Round Valley section is cleaner" on the 2009 trail map compared to previous years, he said.
Potter is partial to the map’s new cover, which pictures a racer from the 2008 International Mountain Biking Association.
Despite years experience biking around Summit County, Cyr almost always carries a trail map in his pack. Some of his favorite excursions on the Wasatch Crest Trail, Lost Prospector and the Round Valley Loop take him far afield to places hard to reach by foot.
Founded in 1992, Mountain Trails releases a new map every year, and it is difficult to estimate how many trails are in the area. "It’s a massive spider-web system," Potter said. Some trails have been marked for years. Others, relatively new, remain unnamed.
Nearly all trails in Summit County are open to "non-motorized" traffic," Potter said. Sharing trails requires etiquette. Bikers should yield to hikers, and they should yield to horses. Uphill riders have the right of way. Dogs should be leashed (though most admit this rule is followed sporadically at best) and people should park at trailheads to avoid obstructing private property.
"We haven’t had too many problems," Potter said. "Everyone’s polite."
Cyr urged patrons to abide signs indicating closed trails. Wet, muddy trails are susceptible to erosion, he said. To avoid mud and snow, Potter advised sticking to lower elevations for the next week or so. Riders and walkers should check out moutaintrails.org for trail updates and recommendations.
Cyr is excited for the summer season. "Park City is a real hidden gem for bike riding," he said. "And the trail map is one of the best in the country."