The best summer trails for pups
Where isn’t there dog walking in Park City? Dogs can be found in parks, open fields and on the more than 350 miles of trails groomed by the area’s Mountain Trails Foundation. For canines, Park City is like a theme park.
"When I lived in New York, in the city and its suburbs, it was a lot of leaving your dog in your yard or drive somewhere to walk," says Allison Schwam, owner of a yellow Labrador retriever. "Here, it’s accessible, quick and easy and there are a good bit of options."
Schwam likes Iron Mountain, a trail that can be accessed from Thaynes Canyon. "It’s shaded and when the leaves turn, it gets really pretty."
During the warmer months, shade is crucial for pups. Amy Roberts, development director of Friends of Animals, the county’s dog shelter, is frequently seen walking with a pack of hounds — some are her own, others are those she fosters. "The big thing is, especially when it’s hotter, you need to be sure you carry some water, find shade and give your dogs lots of breaks the hotter it gets," she advises.
Roberts has a variety of favorite paths, she says.
"We’ve got such a great trail system [in Park City] and it’s fabulous to take your dogs out anywhere," she says, "and there a lot of different degrees of difficulty, too."
But Roberts says that the great network of single-track trail in the mountains does mean that dogs and humans need to contend with wildlife and cyclists. Though the rulebook says that pedestrians have the right of way, she says often she finds it’s easier for hikers to pull over than it is for bikers. "Just be respectful of other people and animals," Roberts says. "You want to be sure your dogs are voice-command trained or leashed up. You don’t want them to be chasing deer."
Carol Potter, executive director of Mountain Town Trails echoes Roberts’ concern.
"I always have my dog on a leash because coyotes like pugs for lunch," she says. "We’re pretty careful."
Some walks to try:
Schwam, Potter and Roberts share their favorite spots to walk their dogs. See the map for their general locations and more places to take a pooch [NOTE: NEED THIS MAP!].
Pinebrook, just past the Quarry Village shopping center off Interstate 80, is one of Schwams’s favorite places to take her Labrador. "They’re right above Gorgoza pond and dogs can jump in the water too cool off," she says. "It’s easy and you’re not worried about bikers."
Willow Creek Park
A flat, gentle, dirt track, Willow Creek Park is located near Snyder’s Mill.
Behind McPolin Farm
McPolin Farm’s landmark, a large historic white barn, can be seen from State Route 224. Amy Roberts likes to walk her pups on the trail behind it. "I like it because it’s far removed from the highway," she says.
Take S.R. 224 to the Blue Roof gas station and turn west. Sunpeak is between an advanced and intermediate hike for dog walkers. There’s plenty of shade. A leash is a must.
Potter and Roberts like the trails at the end of Daly Avenue in Old Town. Scenic and shaded, the intermediate hiking trails run into Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort.
Bordering the National Ability Center, Round Valley trails are easy hikes with several routes. However, be cautious: There is little shade. Bring plenty of water for the hounds.
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