Dogs can ‘Run-A-Muk’
November 18, 2014
To continue to meet the will of Summit County dog owners, the county recently unveiled the first, off-leash dog trail.
Located underneath Olympic Park, the Run-A-Muk Trail is a two-mile stretch of trails and fenced-in open space for dogs to run around unleashed. The 43-acre area can be accessed either from Olympic Parkway or from the Millennium Trail, to the north of Bear Cub Drive.
"People love to take their dogs on trails," Brian Hanton, Summit County parks and recreations manager, said. "It’s just not as fun when they are on a leash."
The new trail system is the result of collaborations between the county’s Dog Task Force and the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District.
Hanton, who is also a member of the task force, said the county’s amendments to the leash laws legitimatized the dog parks already around Park City and in the county, and allowed for further development of other off-leash areas.
"People want to legally walk their dogs off-leash and on trails," Hanton said. "Now they can do both."
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County Council member Kim Carson, who led the effort to amend the leash laws, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 7 for the year-round trail.
"I was out there with my dog and it’s really a beautiful spot that will be able to remain esthetically pleasing, yet it has this trail that is really enjoyable for the dogs," Carson said.
The county amended its leash laws on Aug. 13, to allow dogs to be at large and unleashed if they are within the boundaries of an off-leash dog area.
"We felt, in order to make those areas that already existed legal and to be able to introduce new areas, we really wanted to go ahead and move forward with the leash law part," Carson said.
The only caveats associated with the new law require animals to be under voice and sight control and the owner must carry a physical leash when in the area.
"It is my hope that as more of these areas are established, you’ll start seeing people leash their dogs where it’s not appropriate to have them unleashed," Carson said. "It just provides another amenity for our community that they didn’t have before."
Basin Recreation Trails and Open Space Manager Bob Radke said, since the district owned the property, building the trail was "just a matter of getting a permit."
Radke said he hopes the ease with which the trail was established will encourage similar leash-free areas.
"I think it is a way of life we’ve become accustomed to, having dogs on trails, it just hasn’t been legal or legitimate until now," Radke said. "This trail is just a small taste of what we can do in the county, if we have the property."
Dog owners are still required to pick up their animals’ waste on the trail and are not encouraged to bring dogs that are aggressive or difficult to control.
During the winter, there are no plans to groom the trail, but Radke and Hanton said they are hoping frequent use of the trail will help maintain the property.