Corner Canyon trails boosts interest and funds from local hikers and mountain bikersNov 02, 2017 04:46PM ● By Keyra Kristoffersen
The view from trails along Corner Canyon in Draper. (Bill Decker)
Community members and outdoor enthusiasts from all over Draper, Sandy and Alpine gathered at Noah’s in South Jordan for the third annual Switchback Shindig on Friday, Oct. 6.
“It went really well. I would say it was our best year yet,” said Bill Decker, executive director of the Corner Canyon Trails Foundation, a group that seeks to make the most of the Corner Canyon area stretching from Sandy, through Draper and into Alpine.
The foundation was created four years ago when a group of people — which included Bill Decker, Tricia Kelly, who was on the Draper Parks and Trails Committee, and Clark Naylor — bought up all of the open space on the mountain.
“We’ve been very involved in helping build new trails, helping maintain trails, getting the right people together,” said Kelly, who co-chaired the fundraising event.
After getting help from Utah Nonprofits Association, the foundation partnered with the Draper Community Foundation under their 501(c)(3) which, Decker said, allowed them to hit the ground running by defining the projects that they could work on without having to worry about dealing with some of the specifics that can bear down on a new organization. With the city’s help, grants from companies like REI and volunteers, the Corner Canyon group was able to help facilitate projects like the Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge. The bridge is 185’ across, was designed and constructed by Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co. Inc., paid for by donations and completed in 2015.
“That was such a gift to Draper and such a gift to the community,” said Decker.
Other projects have included putting in an ADA trail, a horse-specific trail called Hoof ’n Boots and partnering with Healthy Draper to create a beginner trail in Little Valley for mountain bikers. Most of the trails are multi-use and they wanted a space for beginners to be able to learn and have fun, since a lot of them are children.
“Our focus is getting people outside to enjoy the mountains,” said Kelly. “We are just so indebted to the people who helped make Corner Canyon not just somewhere where they would build.”
Kelly said they’ve really been trying to grow and include cities that fall along Corner Canyon like Sandy and Alpine. A new trail has been created with Three Falls development and the hope is to eventually create a high-quality trail that runs between Corner Canyon and American Fork Canyon.
“We really expand beyond Corner Canyon, so we want to work with other cities to make things benefit the residents of other communities,” said Decker. “We’re doing whatever we can to help, build new trails, maintain old trails and make a significant contribution.”
Guests of the Switchback Shindig included Troy Walker, the mayor of Draper City, Sheldon Wimmer, the mayor of Alpine, and Kevin Brooks from Intermountain Healthcare in Utah County. Sponsors included WaterPro, Intermountain Healthcare and Walmart. A silent auction for backcountry ski packages, tickets to Snowbird, jackets, mountain biking gear and Escape Room for up to 10 people took place at the event. Guests were treated to dinner by Mindy of Mellenthin’s Catering and comedians from Wiseguys Comedy Club.
Along with raising funds to continue expanding and maintaining the Corner Canyon trails, the foundation also hoped to garner interest in volunteering. Not only are volunteers needed to help clear and build trails, but the foundation is also in need of help within the organization, such as to help run the website that keeps the communities informed about new projects and fun activities. Decker originally started the website to help facilitate communication like watershed rules for dogs to help support the water company and information about new trails.
“There are companies like Costco and Home Depot who want their employees to do volunteer work, so we’ve been able to work with them to bring them out and have them work on sections of the trails, which is really fun,” said Kelly.
All in all, Decker said he felt the event was a big success.
For more information about the Corner Canyon Trails Foundation, maps and upcoming projects, visit http://www.cornercanyontrails.com/