Editor’s note: The Jordan River runs through the heart of Salt Lake City’s west side. It is one of the greatest defining geographical features of this area, is a vital sliver of natural wildlife habitat and an invaluable source of recreation for Utahns. This is why we have decided to devote space each issue to tell the stories of our mistreated, neglected, yet beloved urban river. This is the first of many stories to come.
by Terry Marasco
One of the great waterways of the Salt Lake Valley is the Jordan River, which flows 40 miles from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake. The Jordan River Parkway, a linear park with a paved bicycle/walking trail, winds alongside the river through multiple cities and towns.
At the southern end, the Jordan River Parkway Trail connects with the Murdock Trail in Lehi, and at the northern end, it joins the Legacy Trail near the Great Salt Lake.
Trail-users in Salt Lake City’s portion of the parkway can easily access countless public amenities from the trail. Here, the parkway passes through or near at least seven parks, three golf courses, three city libraries and several schools.
Other interesting features along the parkway include the Jordan River Peace Labyrinth at 1500 South, Bend-in-the-River open space at 1100 South, International Peace Gardens at 1000 South, Fife Wetlands at 900 South, art murals at 300 South, Fisher Mansion at 200 South, pedestrian bridge at 100 South, Utah State Fairpark at North Temple, Cottonwood Dog Park at 400 North, and the Regional Athletic Complex at 2280 North.
The Jordan River Parkway trail is the central piece of a network of trails spanning over 100 miles between Ogden and Provo. The river is navigable by kayak and canoe with numerous input places. And you can now ride your bike the entire length of the river, thanks to the installation of a large pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks near 100 South. Don’t worry about getting hit with a golf ball at Rose Park Golf Course; the trail has a protective fence there!
If you’re active and like to run, bike or boat, check out the upcoming Range 2 River Relay on July 13 hosted by Seven Canyons Trust. Competitors will bike, boat, and run from the Wasatch Range to the Jordan River!
One of Seven Canyon’s most recent projects is Three Creeks Confluence, where Red Butte, Emigration, and Parley’s Creeks spill into the Jordan River at 1300 S. and 900 W. At this site, with over $3 million secured, Seven Canyons will daylight (bring to the surface) 200 feet of combined stream and construct a fishing pier, plaza space and a bridge that will connect to the Jordan River Parkway Trail. Construction is expected to begin in September.
According to Seven Canyons Executive Director Brian Tonetti, the goals of the project include expanding green infrastructure solutions to water quality impairments; enhancing the ecological value of the site and reactivating the neglected area; diversifying active transportation and recreation opportunities; and creating a gateway to the Jordan River for the community.
If you have a chance to visit the Jordan River Trail this summer, be sure to bring your binoculars. You may see ducks, geese and other migratory birds, as well as beaver, muskrat, fish and other exciting wildlife.
For more Salt Lake County trails and parks info, visit: https://slco.org/parks/trails/
Range 2 River Relay
July 13, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Begins at the Utah State Fairpark, West Lot, 1220 West North Temple.
The first person bikes 3.6 miles from City Creek Canyon to the creek’s confluence with the Jordan River at the Utah State Fairpark. The second person boats 3.3 miles on the Jordan River from the Fairpark to 1800 North. The last person runs 3.4 miles on the Jordan River Parkway Trail from 1800 North to the Fairpark. Or complete all three legs yourself! Register by July 12 at https://sevencanyonstrust.org/events/relay.