There are plenty of reasons to say "wow" while exploring Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway, but a new trail project might lead to it being placed on signs.
The state park is working with the Mountain Trails Foundation and Wasatch Trails Alliance to build a 22-mile trail for non-motorized uses in the popular 22,000-acre park. Known as the "WOW Wasatch Over Wasatch" project, the new trail will honor an agreement made when the park was created in 1961. Wasatch Mountain opened to the public as a state park in 1968.
"Part of the agreement with the Land and Water Conservation funds was that we do motorized and non-motorized trails," said Tracy See, assistant state park manager at Wasatch Mountain.
The trail is being marked, and work will start as soon as an archaeological survey is completed. There are some minor location issues to work out, but trail cutting will commence this fall if possible.
The WOW Trail will head up Pine Canyon to the north end of the park to Summit County, down Dutch Canyon to the trailhead and across the ridge back to Pine Canyon. The planned route will complete a portion of the Perimeter Trail for Wasatch County and will link Wasatch and Summit counties to seven other trails and developed communities in the area.
"The views up there are just incredible," said Don Taylor, president of the Wasatch Trails Alliance. "You are looking over the whole valley. You see a lot of the Wasatch at that elevation and clear over to the Uintas."
The trail will run through pines and aspen and should be popular with families looking to get away for a hiking adventure or people who want an after-work spin on their mountain bikes.
"We are working to make it a very user-friendly intermediate trail," Taylor said.
The trail will be machine cut and will be 4 feet wide with a dirt cover. It will be designed for multiple uses.
"We are very cognizant of line of sight on the trail. We want no surprise riders coming around a corner," Taylor said. "It will include as few tight turns and blind corners as possible. We will also have it signed for safety."
The trail is expected to take up to two years to complete.