CLEARFIELD — Another half mile of "rail trail" is now open in Clearfield, from 300 North to 800 North.

The paved trail is about 10 feet wide and available for walkers, runners, bicyclists and skaters. The trail corridor follows the former Denver & Rio Grande railroad line, which the Utah Transit Authority purchased some years ago.

"People love it," Tracy Heun, Clearfield's director of community services, said. "It's a paved urban trail system."

One drawback is that the new trail segment does not currently connect with the section northward to 2300 North. The 800 North viaduct is being demolished, so the trail halts there now.

Heun said once the viaduct has been torn out, a box culvert will be built over the busy 800 North roadway, making the trail continuous. However, that work will not be completed until the end of March.

Equestrian use or motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.

Heun said two spur trails to nearby Steed Park allow additional access to the rail trail. Steed Park is also a good place to park for those who don't live in a neighborhood near the rail trail.

The trail is not cleared of snow by city crews. However, if there's enough snow, cross-county skiing or snowshoeing are other permitted uses there.

Clearfield essentially paid nothing for the latest section of trail path. Funding came from UTA and other federal funds and grants.

Clinton opened the first section of rail trail last year. That segment goes from 800 North to 2300 North and is about 1.5 miles long. Once the 800 North culvert goes in, an approximate 2-mile section of path will be open.

The old Denver & Rio Grande corridor goes from North Salt Lake to west Ogden, meaning a 35-mile long path could be in place someday.

Heun said Clearfield is about a year away from taking bids on finishing its final section of the rail trail in the city. That work would extend the trail south from 300 North to 2200 North and reach the Layton border — just south of Antelope Drive — and could be open by the spring of 2009. This final section of trail is about 3.2 miles long and would create a more than 5-mile-long trail through Clearfield and Clinton.

Kaysville is also making progress on its rail trail. However, Layton has lagged behind its neighboring cities' efforts and could have a void in the rail trail system for some years.

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