‘Golden Spoke’ marks the eastside connection of Salt Lake County and Utah County trails
Sep 08, 2020 01:45PM
By Mimi Darley Dutton
Draper Mayor Troy Walker (L) and Lehi Mayor Mark Johnson (R) cut the ribbon to celebrate the completed trail that now adjoins their two cities at the county line. (Mimi Darley Dutton/City Journals)
By Mimi Darley Dutton | [email protected]
You’d have to travel nearly two hours to remote northwestern Utah to see Golden Spike National Historical Park, a place commemorating the connection of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. But Utah’s new “Golden Spoke” is minutes away and it’s best seen by bicycle or on foot.
The Golden Spoke is a bronze monument plaque embedded in the trail located at 11642 Frontage Road, in front of the Staker Parson building and the entrance to Flight Park Road at the county line. It marks the point of connection where Draper City and Lehi City’s trails meet. It was celebrated at a ribbon cutting ceremony held July 28.
The Golden Spoke plaque signifies the connection of more than 30 miles of continuous trail between Salt Lake and Utah counties. Lehi made the connection complete by expanding its Historic Lehi Rail Trail and connecting to Draper’s Point of the Mountain Trail.
“This has been in the works for a long time and it’s something both cities have looked forward to. You can go from Sandy down to Provo with this connection. We thought it would be fun to call it the Golden Spoke,” said Rhett Ogden, Draper City’s Parks and Recreation director.
Draper Mayor Troy Walker biked to the ribbon cutting along with City Manager David Dobbins.
“I’ve been wanting to see this trail connected for 10 years. It’s a jewel of a connection. You can literally ride on a protected trail from Ogden into Lehi. We will soon have the most connected trail system west of the Mississippi,” Walker said, noting that the Frontage Road people used to have to bike or run on had no shoulder, making it especially dangerous. “No one has to be on that road anymore,” he said.
Lehi City Mayor Mark Johnson said he’d recently ridden the trail with his daughter and that it was especially enjoyable with the wind at their back. “What an awesome addition to both our cities to have these trails. They’re turning into something spectacular,” he said.
Walker said it’s “the melding of two cities in a tech center economy” and that it’s symbolic of a “symbiotic relationship between Draper and Lehi.”
Bill Hereth is a cyclist and a member of Lehi’s Planning Commission. He’s primarily working from his home in Lehi because of the pandemic, so he’s currently using the trail for leisure purposes. “I’ve been exploring Draper more now and it’s a good option to get there,” he said.
Hereth used to ride the Jordan River Trail to his previous job in Taylorsville. This connection will allow him to ride the trail from Lehi to the TRAX station in Draper and on to his current job in Salt Lake City.
“If I ever had to go on the eastside, it always seemed too dangerous for me since I like to ride on the trails instead of the roads. This adds another option for me…a safer connection,” he said.