Orem • Utah’s newest trail has opened for foot, bike and horse use.
Utah County officials on Saturday celebrated the opening of the 17-mile Murdock Canal Trail that starts at the mouth of Provo Canyon and ends at Thanksgiving Point.
After an opening ceremony in Orem, formal ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held at six stops along the trail: Lindon, Pleasant Grove, Cedar Hills, American Fork, Highland and Lehi.
The 15-foot-wide paved trail for pedestrians and bicycles, and an adjacent trail for horses, were made possible when the Provo River Water Users Association enclosed the Provo Reservoir Canal in a 126-inch steel pipe.
As many as 1.8 million people are expected to use the trail annually.
"It is exciting to officially be opening the trail," county Commissioner Larry Ellertson said. "It is such a tremendous amenity for our area and will be something that is enjoyed by future generations. It has been a long time in the making."
Ellertson, an early supporter of the trail project, worked on making it a reality the last 17 years.
The project features seven trailheads, restrooms, picnic tables, drinking fountains and mile markers along its corridor. The trail connects to the Jordan River Parkway trail and other area trails.
People will not only use it for recreation but as a way to commute to work and other places, officials said. Many organizations also have inquired about using the trail for races and events.
"We are very pleased to know that the trail will be used and enjoyed by so many," said Richard Nelson, county public works director. "For a long time the open canal was part of our community so it is nice to see its legacy continue as an important water conveyance system with a trail on top for people to enjoy.".
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