Get your feet wet via the new boat launch at Rotary ParkJun 30, 2022 09:02PM ● By Mimi Darley Dutton
By Mimi Darley Dutton | [email protected]
The Jordan River Rotary Park located off 123rd South in Draper offers a new recreation opportunity for residents that’s sure to create cool summer memories—a boat launch.
With miles of hiking and biking trails within Draper, this is the city’s first “water trail” for non-motorized watercraft. Grab your canoes, kayaks or paddle boards and prepare to float a portion of the Jordan River!
“It’s a way to get in or out of the river for people who want to canoe or kayak navigable segments,” said Draper Mayor Troy Walker.
The new boat launch was one of several upgrades the city completed in the past year at the increasingly popular Rotary Park. Twenty-five new stalls were added to the main parking lot and an entirely new parking lot with 20 stalls was added near the boat launch. Eight of the stalls in that lot are designed for pull-through trailer parking. The park’s entrance was improved and a new section of trail from the street to the Jordan River Parkway Trail was added to give residents of the nearby neighborhoods better and safer access to the park.
“The boat launch was the last step of the larger project,” said Rhett Ogden, director of Draper Parks and Recreation. “It was paid for by Salt Lake County in partnership with Draper City and the Jordan River Commission.”
According to Ogden, the county has installed several new launch/exit points along the river in hopes of giving residents better access for using the river. “It is a beautiful water trail. The new concrete launch makes it very easy…a convenient place for river users to enter and exit the river. It is a beautiful new addition to Draper and hopefully can be a benefit to many to get out and explore the Jordan River,” Ogden said.
A typical trip would launch at Jordan River Rotary Park and go upstream 4.2 miles to Shields Lane Park in South Jordan. Depending on the current, that trip is estimated to take approximately two hours. Ogden said it’s possible to paddle south against the current from the launch point in Draper, “but you’d have to work pretty hard,” he said.
Lifejackets, though not mandatory, are recommended. “It’s not very deep but it’s best to be cautious and use a personal flotation device,” Ogden said.
More information about navigating the Jordan River and planning a trip through the various boat launches and exit points can be found at jordanrivercommission.com.
“It’s there for use and it (the Jordan River) is a great asset that is under-utilized, going through the heart of our valley,” Ogden said.