The Union Pacific Rail Trail brought us to this part of Utah, and we got the perfect day to ride it. This 28-mile, mostly unpaved rail-trail follows the route of a historical railroad line that transported coal and silver ore during the region's mining heyday in the 1860s. The trail runs from Echo Reservoir, a few miles north of where we were staying in Coalville, to Park City.
On this weekday, we had the trail practically to ourselves and pedaled from Coalville to Park City and back. Including riding around in Park City, this was a 47-mile bike ride.
The morning started off bright and sunny but a bit chilly, so extra layers were in order. as we headed south out of Coalville.
But it didn't take long for the sun to warm us up, and a stop to peel off the extra layers was in order. The trail gradually rises in elevation on the way to Park City, so riding from Coalville is a nice workout without being too strenuous.
The first trailhead we arrived at was Wanship, a small dot on the map now that used to be the county seat.
Continuing on, the trail runs between the two sides of the interstate highway through Silver Creek Canyon. The scenery was gorgeous on this part of the trail with wildflowers and early fall foliage all around us.
The next trailhead is in Promontory. By the time we reached this point, the wind had really picked up and would be a factor for the rest of the ride (sometimes in our favor, sometimes not). But we couldn't worry about that now as Park City beckoned in the distance.
We passed by a large field where helicopter drills were being performed. Look closely to see a man being dropped onto the field.
This part of the trail went through farm country, so there were several cattle gates to open and close.
As we approached Park City, the last several miles of the trail were paved. We turned into the wind at this point, so we appreciated the faster surface under our wheels.
We're not in the boonies any more!
There was a huge bike shop right by the trailhead. If you're ever visiting the area and want to rent a bike, here's the place to come!
Park City has a nice network of paved bike paths, so we continued onward to see a bit of the city. Everything was very lush and pretty, with fall foliage in the hills behond. This football field where we stopped to eat a snack was in a city park.
It's a climb into downtown, and the main downtown street goes up up up steeply for several blocks. It was very charming and colorful but obviously a tourist mecca, as everything was so clean and tidy that it almost looked like a Disney set. It was almost too perfect in a way, like it had just been constructed in the last year.
Maybe I was just cranky from all the climbing, but for whatever reason, Park City didn't appeal to me quite the way some other western cities have (like Jackson, Wyoming, for instance). It is, however, very appealing to many, especially during ski season. I bet with white snow all around, these cheerful colors really liven up the landscape.
There's a free downtown trolley -- a nice touch.
We stopped in at Java Cow for a treat. Barry went for ice cream, while I chose a cold coffee drink. I figured I could use the caffeine for the return trip.
Fortified, we headed back through town and this colorful tunnel on the bike path.
Along the way, I particularly liked these metal fish sculptures. Very creative!
On the way back, the downhill section through the canyon was fast and fun. All in all, this was a great trail and so much fun to ride, with beautiful Utah scenery to boot.
Stay tuned as next we head east to Dinosaur National Monument, a very special spot!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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