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Weekend offers outdoorsy opportunities

This weekend, locals will have all sorts of reasons and ways to celebrate all that the outdoors has to offer. With help of local nonprofits, people will have opportunities to hike, boat or fish their way into summer.

National Trails Day

As part of the American Hiking Society’s trail-awareness program, National Trails Day is an opportunity for Parkites to give a little back to the trails that have given them so much. According to Mountain Trails Foundation director Carol Potter, locals can join with thousands of trail lovers across the country on June 7 to celebrate trails.

This year, the Park City National Trails Day celebration will focus on Round Valley. According to Potter, the Round Valley Trail is one of the oldest in the area. Mountain Trails will join forces with local government, the Boy Scouts and other nature-focused nonprofit organizations to work on rehabbing the trail, including removing barbed wire along the trail, de-rocking trails and fixing erosion areas. Participants are asked to wear leather gloves, sensible shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. People may also bring rakes and trail tools and enough water to last through the morning. Anyone interested in working on the trail should meet at the Park City Ice Arena Saturday at 9 a.m. Coffee and bagels will be provided. The trail work will last until noon.

Mountain Trails has also combined with Friends of Animals for the Hike Your Hound event. For those who just want to enjoy the trails with their furry friends, the event will allow people and their pooches to hike Round Valley together to raise money for the local animal-rescue organization.

"We thought it would be fun to have all sorts of things going on," Potter said.

Preregistration is suggested information may be found on the Mountain Trails Website. Registration will also be available on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. The walk will start at 9 a.m. The registration cost is $20 for an individual, $30 for a couple or $45 for a family and includes a T-shirt and goodie bag.

For information on all of the National Trails Day events, visit http://www.mountaintrails.org.

Utah Rivers Council Paddle Festival

For those who want a wetter weekend, the Utah Rivers Council (URC) will welcome Utahns to the water with the Paddle Festival, June 7-8. The annual event, which takes place just a few minutes down Parleys Canyon at Little Dell Reservoir, allows people to learn about all different water-related activities.

This celebration of rivers and recreation will give attendees the opportunity to learn how to kayak, cast, sail and row. Anyone from age six and up is welcome. The day will be filled with clinics and workshops for novices as well as informal water competitions for the more advanced. The URC will provide a variety of new recreational, whitewater and flat-water kayaks, canoes, dories, rafts, and sailboats, along with support staff to help orient people to the equipment. Canoeing and kayaking clinics will be held at specific times, but others boats and water craft can be taken out throughout the day.

The festival will also offer live music, a raffle, beverages and food, as well as other activities for kids like painting fish cutouts and getting their own faces painted.

URC membership and outreach coordinator Dave Bastian suggests dressing comfortably and coming prepared for a day of fun, but warns that East Canyon Reservoir is a watershed area, so there is no swimming allowed.

An entry fee of $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 6-12 will go towards the Utah River Councils’ river-protection programs. There is an additional fee for kayak roll clinics. For specific details on kayak clinics, boat demos and sailing, visit. http://www.utahrivers.org.

The Utah Rivers Council requires everyone to wear a life jacket while in a boat. Some will be available, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own. Participants can also bring boats and kayaks for the water and lawn chairs and blankets. Glass and pets are prohibited. The Paddle Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Free Fishing Day

In an effort to get more people into the sport of fishing, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is offering Free Fishing Day on Saturday. This means anyone in Utah, with or without a license, can fish.

Locally, Wasatch Mountain State Park is doing its part to get kids involved in fishing with its Pathways to Fishing program. This event allows kids to try their hands at catching a fish with the help of volunteers from the DWR Dedicated Hunters program. The program, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., will show youth how to cast, tie on hooks, and how to clean a fish.

According to park naturalist Wendy Wilson, the event, which takes place at the pond by the visitors’ center, will include a presentation about fishing, followed by the hands-on experience. The DWR will stock the pond with rainbow trout before the event.

Wilson said this is one of the most popular youth programs and she expects about 100 kids this year.

Children must register in advance by calling Wilson at (435) 654-1791. Space is limited. Wasatch Mountain State Park pond is located about two miles northwest of Midway. Fishing poles and bait will be available for kids who don’t have their own equipment.

DWR outreach coordinator Scott Leeds said that local reservoirs, such as Strawberry, Echo, Deer Creek and Jordanelle have been fully stocked for the slightly older crowd. Root said that even the Deer Valley Pond will be stocked.

The fish stocked in these waters include rainbow trout, perch and other types of trout. Root recommends that novices borrow fishing equipment as the DWR’s free rental equipment will be used for the children’s fishing events. He also recommends bringing an experienced fisherman along to learn the proper way to fish. For more information, visit wildlife.utah.gov.


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