Off-road trail gets BLM OK, more funds from RTSSD
Construction of a county-wide off-road trail will continue this summer as the Carbon County Recreation/Transportation Special Service District approved $670,000 in funding for the west loop portion of the County Backbone Multiple Use Trail.
Plans are to finish the western portion this year. Construction of the essential facilities for the loop, including a trail head with parking and restrooms at the county fairgrounds, a culvert crossing near the Wildcat Junction and signage will be advertised for bid soon, said District Secretary Linda Ballard.
This funding follows a Bureau of Land Management record of decision by Patricia Clabaugh, Field Manager of the Price Field Office of the BLM, who issued a right-of-way grant to Carbon County on the federal lands where existing rights-of-way did not exist.
According to Carbon County Director of Planning Dave Levanger, the entire trail will run for more than 100 miles and encompass much of the county. Starting at the fairgrounds, the loop runs westerly through the edge of the Manti-LaSal National Forest near Bob Wright Canyon. The path then comes back to the Consumers Road, moving toward Wildcat Junction where riders cross through Helper toward the edge of Kenilworth.
Winding through the north side of Price, where an existing trail head waits, the trail turns east and crosses Airport, Coal Creek and Nine Mile Canyon Roads heading into Clark's Valley.
"There are plans for a comfort station in Clark's Valley near the old ghost town of Kiz," said Levanger. "That facility will be constructed as part of this year's funding."
The trail continues into East Carbon City and Sunnyside where riders begin a steep climb to the top of Bruin Point. Another smaller loop is available here, as travelers can take Cottonwood Road down into the bottom of Cottonwood Canyon or the Great Hunt Panel area, said Levanger. The trail then turns back to Dry Canyon and around Bruin Point where the loop closes.
This massive undertaking will provide a breathtaking views and recreation, said Levanger. The planning director also confirmed that the loop's trail is large enough to accommodate street-legal off-road vehicles, side-by-sides and traditional four-wheelers.
The section to be completed this summer will run from Price through Sunnyside and officials are hopeful that the trail will soon be connected with Wellington as well.
"This trail will be the county's backbone for future spurs and loops," said Levanger. "Collectively, the trail system will be the Castle Country Trail System."
The State Institutional Trust Lands, the cities of Carbon County and the Castle Country Off-Highway Association have contributed support to trail where work will soon begin by county officials to coordinate the various connection to the cities.