Trails offer mental and physical health for all. Mentally, trails allow for time to exercise and unwind, and time in nature helps us better focus, problem solve, think creatively, and cope with anxiety and depression. Physically, trail activity helps better cardiovascular and muscle fitness and increase metabolism for weight loss, improved digestion, and better sleep. Everyone deserves these benefits, so to expand access, we are starting to adapt trails in the Wasatch, removing obstacles to adaptive use.
We seek to expand trail access for the growing adaptive athlete community here in Utah. We are partnering with National Ability Center, Wasatch Adaptive Sports, and specialized trail builders to adapt existent trails in the Wasatch for better accessibility for adaptive riders and runners. Trail adaptations will include widening, removing obstacles, making space for wider turns and adjusting grades on existing non-paved trails.
We are committed to making our trails accessible to as many members of our community as possible. To this end, we have established partnerships with National Ability Center, Wasatch Adaptive Sports and US Forest Service to:
Trails Utah has worked with partners to develop a wish-list of trails in Salt Lake County that need adaptations for better accessibility by adaptive bikers. We have a detailed rundown of
work needing doing on each trail, how much time and man- and woman-power it might take, and how much it will cost. We will work with professional trail builders and volunteers to bring these changes to fruition.
Trails Utah partners regularly with the USFS to help them build, maintain and modify trails
throughout the Tri-Canyon area in the Wasatch Front. The Tri-Canyon Master Plan is due out in 2024 and Trails Utah has worked with USFS, as well as our partner, Wasatch Adaptive Sports, to integrate accessibility into their master plan for the next 10 years. We have provided guidelines to building accessible trails as well as a wishlist of trails that community members would like to see modified.
Our first project with both USFS and Wasatch Adaptive Sports is modifying the Dog Lake Trail in Millcreek Canyon, for use by adaptive mountain bikes. This work will be completed in 2024 and we will begin work on a return trail in late 2024 that will offer a loop option, as well as the initial out-and-back option. And we have many more trails on our project list for the coming
Kootenay Adaptive, based in BC, Canada, created standards for adaptive trails that many entities throughout the United States are now using. These are great guidelines to follow when creating or modifying trails for adaptive use: Kootenay Adaptive Guidelines
Whether an ORHC (offroad-hand cycle) or prosthesis, adaptive equipment is expensive and often not covered by health insurance. Here are a few great resources for grants forindividuals to help cover these costs: