FARMINGTON – If you’re thinking trails along the Wasatch Front, or even statewide, Farmington is a logical starting place.
The city of 22,000 may be hemmed in by the Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Front Range. That said, boasts 123 miles of trails.
That’s reportedly more than any other city in the state except Moab, which claims 1,800 miles, which must include lots of desert areas outside the city limits.
“We now have 123.1 miles of non motorized trails, from the lakeshore to the top of the mountains, Kaysville to the north and Centerville to the south,” said George Chipman.
He’s chair of the city’s trails committee. It’s an assignment he took on more than 15 years ago because of his deep interest in trails.
“In 1998, Greg Bell, then mayor of Bountiful, got in board,” when it came to trails and preservation of natural spaces, Chipman said.
That formal involvement is predated by many years of interest in trails.
As a boy, he and his rock hound father would romp around the hills.
“I got to love it. In Boy Scouts, we had some wonderful adventures hiking in Canada, the Uintas, Colorado, all around,” he said.
It was a love of hiking and access to trails that led Chipman and his family to move to Farmington from Holladay in 1991.
“I had to drive a couple of miles to hike, “when in Holladay, before nearby Mount Olympus had become so popular, he said.
His first attempt at hiking in Farmington required a lot of determination to find a trail, Chipman recalled.
After two failed attempts to find a trail in Steed Canyon, he decided to start his quest at the creek bed, went across the ridge, and still was unsuccessful.
He did locate a sort of natural ledge, and as he walked up it, found there were only bushes in the way of the trail.
“So I trimmed it so that me and my family could hike it. After that, I was hooked,” Chipman said.
He and a committee that includes about 50 trail chiefs are responsible for maintaining portions of the trails. They have been issued shirts and an embroidered patch and certificate.
If they need help, other trail committee members are recruited, or service projects set up involving others.
“Our charter was not just to create trails but to provide quality. Adopt-A-Trail is part of that,” Chipman said.
Trails within the city range from paved, flat surface to more rugged, mountain-type trails.
“Every single resident of Farmington is within an easy 10 minutes of a trail. People will walk to it” if it’s that close, he said.
“That was a goal set that was met,” he added.
Completion of Farmington’s rail trail last year means hikers or bicyclists could travel from Roy, in south Weber County, to Point of the Mountain. Eventually, it will be possible to reach Utah Lake, by trails, Chipman said.
The city’s abundance of trails adds quality of life, he said. It also has led to such recognition as among the best 20 towns in America to live in, awarded by CNNMoney last year.
Trail information is periodically mailed to city residents. Materials are also available at trail kiosks and city offices.
Maps are also available online from the city’s community development tab on the website, farmingtonutah.gov.