Construction to begin on final phase of Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail

Construction to begin on final phase of Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail
Posted on 09/21/2011
BCC Trail Covered Bridge

This fall or early spring, with thanks to Murray City, Cottonwood Heights will begin construction on the last phase of the Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail through one of the most pristine properties in the valley. You may not know that Murray City is a property owner in Cottonwood Heights! In fact, 20 percent of Murray City’s drinking water comes from wells located between Fort Union and Wasatch Boulevard at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon.


In order to protect the drinking water, the property is classified as a water source protection zone, and therefore has remained relatively untouched from human activity. This creates a natural treasure for the new trail, which will meander through thick stands of native trees along the riparian corridor of Big Cottonwood Creek.

A crossing underneath Wasatch Boulevard will be constructed to connect the trail to the park and ride lot at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Imagine the recreational benefits of avoiding Wasatch Boulevard by crossing underneath the roadway and staying next to the creek instead!

When this last phase is finished, the Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail will extend from I-215 near the Cottonwood Corporate Center to the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. The trail is a 10-foot wide colored asphalt paved path that accommodates all non-motorized transportation including bicycles, roller blades, strollers and wheelchairs.

The first two phases of the trail were completed through collaboration between Cottonwood Heights, UDOT, Salt Lake County, the Division of Natural Resources, and county flood control. Funding for the trail came from various sources such as the Utah State Legislature, the Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) Fund, and Federal Transportation Enhancement money. To date, all right-of-way has been donated to Cottonwood Heights by entities such as the Walker Trust c/o Doug Shelby, Cottonwood Corporate Center, Gastronomy, Beckstrand Corporation, Salt Lake County, UDOT and Murray City.

The Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail depends on good stewardship from our community to preserve this opportunity. This particular property requires special effort so that we can maintain the trail within a very sensitive water source protection area for generations to come.

While we want everyone to take advantage of and enjoy this trail, everybody must care for this trail like it is their own. Please report any suspicious activity to the Cottonwood Heights Police and keep it free from litter, garbage, and animal waste.  These amenities don’t happen by chance, and consequently should not be taken for granted.

It is very impressive to see what can be accomplished when government entities and community partners work together to create public amenities such as the Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail. The public is the beneficiary of a lot of hard work. Thanks Murray City!