Record editorial: Residents should weigh in regarding Rail Trail improvements |

Record editorial: Residents should weigh in regarding Rail Trail improvements

What does the future hold for the Rail Trail?

That’s a question Summit County and Park City officials are separately hoping to answer. In the coming weeks, both will explore possible improvements to the popular recreation trail that stretches nearly 30 miles from Park City to the East Side.

Summit County, for its part, has embarked on a process to examine how the Rail Trail can be utilized to accomplish a number of goals, from building connectivity between the eastern and western parts of the county to spurring economic development in the communities it passes through and protecting natural resources along the path.

Park City, meanwhile, is developing a master plan for the highly trafficked portion of the trail that runs through the city, from the trail’s western terminus in Bonanza Park to where it intersects with S.R. 248 beyond Utah Film Studios. Officials are examining options such as safety improvements, added trail connectivity and other amenities.

The possibilities are intriguing. Some may prefer to simply leave the Rail Trail alone — why mess with a good thing — but there seem to be common-sense opportunities to both improve the experience for recreaters and also take advantage of the trail’s popularity to achieve broader aims, particularly on the portion of the trail that falls under Summit County’s jurisdiction. For instance, art installations along the trail could be a way to promote our county’s culture and history.

Whatever their vision for the Rail Trail, residents should not hesitate to provide input. Given the route’s importance both as a historic relic — it was once a rail line that was crucial to Park City’s silver mining industry — and a recreational amenity, it’s imperative that the direction officials ultimately pursue reflects the general consensus among those who frequent the trail.

The Rail Trail has, in one form or another, been a part of Summit County history for more than a century. But what, exactly, will it look like in the future? That’s up to you.

Park City is hosting an open house from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Prospector Park City. The city also plans to publish an online survey soon. More information can be found at Summit County is seeking feedback through an online survey that can be accessed at

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