Bike Trails in Southwestern Utah Will get Another Huge Boost with Half-Million Dollar Grant

Trail riding in Cedar City, Utah. Photo: Matt Miller

The Zion National Park Forever Project has been awarded $500,000 by the Utah Office of Outdoor recreation, which will go toward building 25 miles of new mountain bike trails just outside of the park. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has awarded $7.6 million total in matching grants to 99 outdoor infrastructure projects, totaling $54.4 million in project value, a 7:1 investment of state dollars, according to the GOED. The Forever Project in particular received the most money of any group or project.

“We were excited to see so many people enjoying the great outdoors this past year. The sheer numbers of people on trails and in the campgrounds in 2020 were mind-blowing,” said Pitt Grewe, director of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation in the release.

“Communities are seeing the need to renovate decades-old trails or build new ones after seeing the demand increasing from both their residents and tourists. We’re happy to award these matching funds to enable cities, towns, counties, and nonprofits across Utah to invest in the outdoor recreation projects for which their residents are asking. The grants will enable communities to build a wide range of projects from trails and fishing piers to archery ranges for the enjoyment of both locals and visitors.”

The Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant supports infrastructure projects in Utah towns over the course of several years. Not only do these projects attract tourism but they bolster the economy by creating jobs and luring applicants to these towns.

The press release on the GOED site includes a quote from Jimmy Seear, the co-founder of CSS Composites.

“Watching a town like Richfield invest in cycling infrastructure attracts manufacturing jobs to the community while offering endless trails to enjoy. Richfield City and Sevier County are doing a great job in establishing outdoor activities and trail systems to make it a fantastic community for both work and play,” said Seear.

CSS Composites developed Fusion Fiber, which is a recyclable carbon fiber, that Revel Bikes is notably using for their carbon fiber Revel Wheels.

Twenty-three of Utah’s 29 counties received some sort of project funding. Other projects include climbing anchor replacement projects, archery ranges, and river recreation projects.

The Zion Forever Project’s half-million dollars will help push the second phase of the East Zion Mountain Bike Trail System in Kane County and create a “world-class recreational experience on the eastern gateway of the fourth most visited park in the National Park System.” This will add almost 25 miles to an existing 10-mile loop which was built in the first phase. The total project cost is over $2 million.

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