The Salt Lake City Public Lands Division is seeking public participation in the process of developing a Foothill Trail System Plan. The plan will apply to the Salt Lake City foothills between Emigration Canyon and the southern boundary of Davis County. It will produce a blueprint for an improved trails network for diverse users, to be implemented over a ten-year timeline. Members of the public are encouraged to submit their comments and ideas via an interactive mapping tool found on www.slcgov.com/trailsplan.
There are nearly 100 miles of “trails” in the Salt Lake City foothills, all of which will be considered by the forthcoming Foothill Trail System Plan. Of all these trails, only the Bonneville Shoreline Trail was professionally constructed with the intent of non-motorized recreation. Many existing trails in the foothills are unsustainable due to steep grades, widespread soil erosion, and costly maintenance challenges. Trailhead, wayfinding and regulatory signage is virtually absent. Lack of coherent trail design has created a system of trails that is unapproachable to many entry-level trail users, and that becomes increasingly prone to user-conflicts as use increases. Once implemented, the Foothill Trail System Plan will mitigate user confusion, promote connectivity with the City’s alternative transportation networks, and minimize environmental issues (including challenges in protected watershed areas).
Salt Lake City’s Open Space Lands Program is leading plan development, with the assistance of trails consulting firm Alta Planning + Design. Public engagement is a crucial and highly valued aspect of the Foothill Trail System Plan; the public may provide feedback on the current foothill trails system, as well as proposed changes and improvements, viawww.slcgov.com/trailsplan through January 2018. The finalized Foothill Trail System Plan is slated for final review in mid-2018.