Tooele County has hundreds of miles of trails that are ready for adoption.
The county’s trail system has been inventoried, GPS waypoints determined, and trail signage installed.
The trails go through the west side of the Oquirrh Mountains, traverse the floors of Tooele and Rush valleys, and include a loop around South Mountain.
The road that voyages out to Stansbury Island and terminates at the Stansbury Island Interpretive Trail is also part of the county trail system.
Each year the county counts on seasonal help from volunteers to help maintain trails and trailheads.
“Volunteers are an essential part of the county’s trail program,” said Jerry Hurst, chairman of the Tooele County Trails Committee.
Volunteer groups can adopt a trailhead, entire trail, or any part of a trail that they choose, according to Hurst.
“The commitment, basically, is to check the trail once a month and make sure it is navigable,” Hurst said.
Volunteers remove downed trees and brush that encroach or overhang trails, repair erosion damage and remove traces of human impact. Volunteers also help maintain trailheads, pick up trash and report vandalism or other concerns.
The trail season depends on the weather. It starts once snow melts and continues until snow starts to fall again, usually around April through October, according to Hurst.
“Adopting a trail is a great opportunity for service for Scout or school groups,” Hurst said.
Families, church groups, service clubs, and outdoor groups have adopted trails in the past, according to Hurst.
“We still have plenty of trails left that need to be adopted,” he said.
Trail adopters receive a certificate of adoption from the county, and an adoption sign will be placed at the start of the trail, according to the Tooele County Adopt-A-Trail program handbook.
Tooele County has 20 developed trailheads. Each trailhead has a parking lot and an interpretive kiosk that displays trail maps and historical information about the trail. Some trailheads have restrooms with vaulted toilets.
Trail improvements and trailheads have been completed with funds provided by grants, according to Hurst.
“It’s fun to go up and work on the trails,” Hurst said. “There’s a good spirit of camaraderie that develops while you are working.”
To volunteer to adopt a trail, call the Tooele County Parks and Recreation Department at 435-843-4001. For more information on Tooele County trails, go to www.tooelecountytrails.com. The website includes detailed trail maps.