OREM — Crews are putting the finishing touches on the Murdock Canal Trail in Utah County, ahead of the grand opening on Saturday, May 18.
Though the trail was not officially open, a few early birds took it for a test drive Thursday. From cyclists to joggers to people taking their dogs out for a run, the trail offers something for everyone.
“I just got my jogging stroller, so it is a nice place to run and get exercise in with my daughter,” Utah County resident Sydney Crawford said.
The $17 million trail was funded through a joint effort between Utah County, cities in the area and the Provo River Waters Users, which operates the new pipeline that replaced the century-old canal.
"People are excited for the trail to come,” said Steve Cain, with the Provo River Water Users Association. “They have been waiting many years for this to happen.”
The massive project began in October 2010. Over an 18-month period, the Murdock Canal was enclosed by a 10-foot diameter pipeline for many reasons, including safety and water conservation.
When the pipeline was completed in May 2012, work began on the multipurpose trail above the area the pipeline is buried. The trail runs along most of the 21-mile pipeline.
The trail extends from 800 North in Orem to state Route 92 in Lehi and passes through seven Utah County cities — American Fork, Cedar Hills, Highland, Lehi, Lindon, Orem and Pleasant Grove.
"People will be able to walk in groups, to run. They will hold different types of races on the trail,” Cain said. “There's equestrian opportunities. We are aware of people who are will be commuting to work using the trail.”
The trail features seven trailheads and will be open from dawn to dusk every day. It will be open 365 days a year and will be plowed in the winter. It also has restrooms and parking.
And for those who like to jog, mile markers are placed every quarter-mile along the length of the trail.
“It is great for all of the communities that have come together to work for it,” Utah County resident Rebecca Johnson said
A grand opening celebration will be held Saturday, May 18, in the seven cities along the trail. The event will begin in Orem at 8 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. in Lehi. More details are available at www.murdockcanaltrail.com.
Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc