Park City readies first dog-free trail |

Park City readies first dog-free trail

Route extends from Creekside Park to Boot Hill

by Jay Hamburger

Dogs are prohibited at Creekside Park to protect a drinking-water source. Park City officials are considering designating a trail that is expected to be built this fall as a dog-free area. One of the ends of the trail will be at Creekside Park.

Park City intends to prohibit dogs from a trail that is expected to be built in the fall, the first such designation since leaders pledged to consider creating dog-free areas after setting aside Round Valley as an off-leash area in early 2016.

City Hall plans to build a trail stretching up to two miles in length between Creekside Park on Holiday Ranch Loop Road and Boot Hill, which is located directly behind the Park City Cemetery on Kearns Boulevard. Staffers want to designate the trail as a dog-free area, meaning that dogs will be prohibited regardless of whether they are leashed.

There had not been widespread talk about potential dog-free areas in the more than a year since Round Valley and part of the field outside the Park City Library were made off-leash areas. Park City's elected leadership at the time of the decision regarding Round Valley and the field outside the library, though, pledged City Hall would consider dog-free areas.

The proposal regarding the trail that will be built in coming months was outlined in a report to Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council early in the week. The report indicates City Hall staffers and some members of a task force that was previously seated to study off-leash areas and other canine issues identified the trail as a preferred location for a dog-free area.

The report notes the trail's location at Creekside Park, saying the park itself is also a dog-free area based on its proximity to a drinking-water source. The dog-free policy at the location is meant to protect the water source.

Heinrich Deters, the trails and open space program manager at City Hall, said the municipal government continues to discuss the route with owners of property the trail would cross. The owners have given City Hal verbal approval, the report to the elected officials says.

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The report says the trail would be "centrally located within town" and would offer what is described as a "beginner loop" route that would be attractive to youngsters and senior citizens. It will be built for hiking and bicycling.

"It was the most logical place for us to provide it," Deters said, describing the location as easily accessible.

Deters said there is not another place under consideration for a no-dogs designation.

There was widespread support from Parkites as the City Council in early 2016 declared Round Valley and the field outside the library off-leash areas. The approximately 1,400 acres in Round Valley were especially attractive to dog owners who regularly hike, bicycle, cross-country ski and snowshoe on the land. The field outside the library is a popular spot to run dogs as well.

It is not clear what sort of reaction a prohibition of dogs on the trail between Creekside Park and Boot Hill will generate, particularly since there has appeared to be little resistance to the ban on dogs at Creekside Park. There did not appear to be any people with dogs at or close to the location on Monday afternoon.