Terrace Hills Ridge Trail
Rehabilitation postponed in November 2022 due to
Rocky Mountain Power Wildfire Mitigation Project
- Trail access from 1021 Terrace Hills Drive
- Trail access from Bonneville Shoreline Trail
- Gaia Track (GPS recorded route of the ridge)
The City built a realigned 2000-ft. (0.4 mi.) segment of the BST Valleyview trail in 2021 as part of the Phase I implementation of the Foothills Trail System Plan. At that time, the decision was made to close the existing ridgeline segment of the BST with portions approaching 20% grade and braiding up to 40 feet wide so that the landscape could recover from overuse. Another 1800-ft legacy jeep track trail with grades up to 35% at the summit was also closed. The trail closures were managed by installing lodgepole fences to block access to the segments at three locations and by digging trenches at strategically designated locations.
The trail closures were met with community frustration and confusion. This new alignment was not listed in the Trails Plan nor was the management practice of decommissioning trails by trenching. While the City is actively evaluating the Trails Plan and Phase I construction with the assistance of various environmental and recreational planning consultants, the newly built segment of the BST has been applauded by many hikers and bikers searching for a more accessible ascending trail. The City acknowledges that closing the legacy jeep track ridge trails was unnecessary and that the trenching of the trails was an overly aggressive management practice that will not be repeated.
Project Rehabilitation Plan
The Public Lands Department has created a rehabilitation plan to repair the trenching damage and remove the remaining lodgepole fencing material. (All of the fences were knocked over by vandalism and/or wind.) The rehabilitation plan includes:
A “Preferred” Ridge Trail: A “preferred” ridge trail will be designated so that users choosing to access the pre-existing ridge trail have a reasonable 2’-5’ trail corridor to utilize. Signage at trail junctions will label this trail and will encourage users to stay on the designated trail so the broader corridor can revegetate naturally. There are three locations where multiple legacy trails exist that will be signed to encourage trail users to stay on the “preferred” trail to minimize the braiding of trails. This will include the summit approach to encourage users to access the summit from the east. The summit’s south slope trails, which originated as an old jeep track, have already significantly revegetated since the fence was installed.
Constructed & Irrigated trails:
- BST and access trails (multi-use; green)
- 19th Ave (directional bike trail; black)
- Avenues Ridge Trail (hiking trail; brown)
- Preferred ridge trail (yellow)
- Active revegetation of trenches with seeding and marked off (red)
- Passive revegetation with signage (white polygons)
Rehabilitating the trenches: A trail mini-excavator (42” wide tread) will access the trenches from Terrace Hills West Access Trail using the existing user ridge trail and will pull the removed soil back into the three dugout trenches and level it out to existing grades. A native seed mix provided by Public Lands botanists will be tilled into the disturbed soil around the time of our first winter snowfall for optimal natural growth potential at that elevation. The disturbance areas of the three trenches, measuring 70’ x 15’, 90’ x 15’, and 40’ x 15’, will be marked off and signed for protection.
Fencing and signage: A lodgepole fence will be installed adjacent to the water storage tank at the bottom of the ridge trail to guide trail users to the designated ridge trail corridor. The fence will also serve as a hub for trail use wayfinding and interpretive signage. There will not be fencing at the upper junctions with the 19th Ave or Avenues Ridge Trail but there will be additional interpretive and wayfinding signage at those two junctions. Signage at the uppermost junction with the Avenues Ridge Trail will guide users to access the ridgeline summit from the east ridge to help the revegetation recovery of the legacy jeep track on the south slope.
Over the spring and summer, Public Lands staff worked with local natural lands managers and botanists to design a plan for re-seeding and revegetation of the rehabilitated trenches and to designate a preferred ridge trail to minimize the width of the trail corridor. This proposal will be shared and reviewed by the key stakeholder groups and is open to public feedback. Public Lands will publicize this project through signage at trailheads and at the trail as well as through its website and social media channels. The work would be scheduled to occur in November or early December to align with seasonal conditions ideal for seeding at this elevation.
For questions or information, please contact SLC Public Lands Recreational Trails Manager, Tyler Fonarow, at email@example.com.