Hidden Gems in Park City – Bike Edition
Where can you take a detour from your trip to Home Depot and find an amazing mountain bike course that is free to the public? Park City, of course! This past weekend my husband and I were headed to the hardware store east of Park City on Highway 40 and decided to take the scenic route and drive through a neighborhood. We stumbled upon Trailside Park and its soccer field, skateboard park and the amazing mountain bike training course.
We looked at each other and said in unison, “Let’s check it out.” We didn’t see any bikes on the course (maybe because it was really windy.) So we opened the tailgate, let the dog out and headed up the trail. It started off with a beginners course called “Bella’s Course” with a couple of stone bridges and curved dirt trails for little ones to try. I can imagine a little girl with a pink bike and helmet tearing around those corners like there’s no tomorrow!
Not for the faint of heart: this trail is challenging! We hiked up the path and found tons of strategically placed wooden ramps and side rails that were six feet tall! The course was full of small and large dirt ramps to test the skills of every mountain biker young and old. We saw a few when we ran into a couple of teenagers with helmet cams taking the big jumps and filming each others landings.
This course wouldn’t be for the beginner but if you or your kids love a challenge, check out Trailside park. www.basinrecreation.org/
For the faint of heart: Willow Creek Park. We found this park in much the same way – we went for a leisurely drive through a neighborhood and out popped this amazing park with two play structures, finely groomed soccer fields, a pond, and wide paths for walking,running or biking. The bike paths connect to a couple of nice trails. On this ride, you won’t find a ramp or a bump in sight but what you will see are wide rocky pathways that are great to either pick up some speed for a good workout or to take at a leisurely pace and enjoy the scenery.
I sometimes start at Kimball Junction and ride along the Swaner Nature Preserve past the Swaner farm on the Highway 224. The bike trail winds past some wetlands and creeks before it opens up to the meadow at Willow Creek Park. You can ride up to the soccer field there and grab some cold water from the drinking fountain. Take a rest in the shade before heading up further to catch up with the Farm Trail for more stream side riding or head back the way you came. Www.basinrecreation.org/
Whether you are a hard core thrill seeking biker or looking for a scenic spring ride and some exercise, Park City parks are a great way to explore while waiting for Deer Valley’s lift-served biking and hiking to open on June 15.