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Using Trails

Utah’s Golden Spoke Trail Network Photo Essay

By: Cindy Barks
July 21, 2018

Provo, Utah, resident Veronica Hernandez takes a summer-morning ride along the Provo River Parkway. The 15.2-mile rail-trail is also popular with walkers and runners. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Provo, Utah, resident Veronica Hernandez takes a summer-morning ride along the Provo River Parkway. The 15.2-mile rail-trail is also popular with walkers and runners. | Photo by Cindy Barks

Utah recently celebrated its completion of the Golden Spoke trail network, which comprises more than 100 miles of connected, paved trails linking Ogden, Salt Lake City and Provo. This photo essay showcases the natural wonders and unique infrastructure that make this urban trail network a rail-trail destination to behold. Featuring the Legacy Parkway Trail, Provo River Parkway, and Denver and Rio Grande Western Rail Trail.

Among the attractions along the Provo River Parkway is the popular Bridal Veil Falls, where crowds of people gather to take in the spectacular sight. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Among the attractions along the Provo River Parkway is the popular Bridal Veil Falls, where crowds of people gather to take in the spectacular sight. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Legacy Parkway Trail in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area passes through a variety of neighborhoods. In Farmington, it runs along a freeway and a railroad track, as well as a transit stop and a busy shopping area. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Legacy Parkway Trail in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area passes through a variety of neighborhoods. In Farmington, it runs along a freeway and a railroad track, as well as a transit stop and a busy shopping area. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Legacy Parkway Trail in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area features a flat, paved surface and attracts heavy cycling traffic. The trail passes through a number of suburban communities, including Woods Cross. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Legacy Parkway Trail in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area features a flat, paved surface and attracts heavy cycling traffic. The trail passes through a number of suburban communities, including Woods Cross. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Legacy Parkway Trail in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area passes through a variety of neighborhoods. In Farmington, it runs along a freeway and a railroad track, as well as a transit stop and a busy shopping area. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Legacy Parkway Trail in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area passes through a variety of neighborhoods. In Farmington, it runs along a freeway and a railroad track, as well as a transit stop and a busy shopping area. | Photo by Cindy Barks
In Centerville, Utah, the Legacy Parkway Trail and the Denver and Rio Grande Western Rail Trail overlap for a short distance, near the Parrish Lane Trailhead. | Photo by Cindy Barks
In Centerville, Utah, the Legacy Parkway Trail and the Denver and Rio Grande Western Rail Trail overlap for a short distance, near the Parrish Lane Trailhead. | Photo by Cindy Barks
A pedestrian overpass crosses the Legacy Parkway in Woods Cross, Utah, allowing access to the 14-mile Legacy Nature Trail on the other side of the freeway. | Photo by Cindy Barks
A pedestrian overpass crosses the Legacy Parkway in Woods Cross, Utah, allowing access to the 14-mile Legacy Nature Trail on the other side of the freeway. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Bountiful Pond, just off the Legacy Parkway Trail in West Bountiful, is bordered by foliage and walking trails. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Bountiful Pond, just off the Legacy Parkway Trail in West Bountiful, is bordered by foliage and walking trails. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The long shady stretch of the Denver and Rio Grande Western trail in Clinton, Utah, makes for a popular walking spot on summer days. The 23.5-mile rail-trail connects up with the Legacy Parkway Trail. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The long shady stretch of the Denver and Rio Grande Western trail in Clinton, Utah, makes for a popular walking spot on summer days. The 23.5-mile rail-trail connects up with the Legacy Parkway Trail. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The tall grass and marshes of Utah's Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in the Salt Lake City area serve as a nesting place for migratory birds. The Denver and Rio Grande Western Trail runs nearby. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The tall grass and marshes of Utah’s Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in the Salt Lake City area serve as a nesting place for migratory birds. The Denver and Rio Grande Western Trail runs nearby. | Photo by Cindy Barks
After making its way through Provo, Utah, the Provo River Parkway heads northeast toward the mouth of Provo Canyon. The scenic stretch through the mountains attracts crowds of walkers and cyclists. | Photo by Cindy Barks
After making its way through Provo, Utah, the Provo River Parkway heads northeast toward the mouth of Provo Canyon. The scenic stretch through the mountains attracts crowds of walkers and cyclists. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Bountiful Pond, just off the Legacy Parkway Trail in West Bountiful, is bordered by foliage and walking trails. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Bountiful Pond, just off the Legacy Parkway Trail in West Bountiful, is bordered by foliage and walking trails. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Provo, Utah, resident Mike Marler walks his dogs Luna and Coda along the 15.2-mile Provo River Parkway, which runs from the Utah State Lake to the mouth of Provo Canyon. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Provo, Utah, resident Mike Marler walks his dogs Luna and Coda along the 15.2-mile Provo River Parkway, which runs from the Utah State Lake to the mouth of Provo Canyon. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Hundreds of thousands of water birds, songbirds and raptors flock to Utah’s Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in the Salt Lake City area each year. The tall grass and marshes of the management area serve as a nesting place for the migratory birds. The Denver and Rio Grande Western Trail runs nearby. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Hundreds of thousands of water birds, songbirds and raptors flock to Utah’s Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in the Salt Lake City area each year. The tall grass and marshes of the management area serve as a nesting place for the migratory birds. The Denver and Rio Grande Western Trail runs nearby. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Wetlands that attract a variety of migratory birds border the Legacy Parkway Trail in Centerville, Utah, near its intersection with the Denver and Rio Grande Western Trail. The two trails cut a north-south path through suburban Salt Lake City. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Wetlands that attract a variety of migratory birds border the Legacy Parkway Trail in Centerville, Utah, near its intersection with the Denver and Rio Grande Western Trail. The two trails cut a north-south path through suburban Salt Lake City. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Denver and Rio Grande Western Trail | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Denver and Rio Grande Western Trail | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Legacy Parkway and Denver and Rio Grande Western rail-trails in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area feature well-maintained, paved surfaces. The two trails meet up briefly near Centerville, Utah. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The Legacy Parkway and Denver and Rio Grande Western rail-trails in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area feature well-maintained, paved surfaces. The two trails meet up briefly near Centerville, Utah. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The flat surface and gentle grade of the Provo River Parkway attract many family groups. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The flat surface and gentle grade of the Provo River Parkway attract many family groups. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The beautiful Provo Canyon along the Provo River Parkway makes for a most scenic hike. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The beautiful Provo Canyon along the Provo River Parkway makes for a most scenic hike. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The 23.5-mile Denver and Rio Grande Western Trail runs through numerous Salt Lake City, Utah-area communities, including Clearfield, where it passes through wooded neighborhoods. The rail-trail also travels through Farmington, Kaysville, Layton and Clinton. | Photo by Cindy Barks
The 23.5-mile Denver and Rio Grande Western Trail runs through numerous Salt Lake City, Utah-area communities, including Clearfield, where it passes through wooded neighborhoods. The rail-trail also travels through Farmington, Kaysville, Layton and Clinton. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Grazing horses are a common sight along the section of the Legacy Parkway Trail that passes through West Bountiful, Utah. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Grazing horses are a common sight along the section of the Legacy Parkway Trail that passes through West Bountiful, Utah. | Photo by Cindy Barks
With its flat, paved surface, the Provo River Parkway is a popular spot for parents with strollers. Provo resident Melissa Nebeker is a regular user of the trail. | Photo by Cindy Barks
With its flat, paved surface, the Provo River Parkway is a popular spot for parents with strollers. Provo resident Melissa Nebeker is a regular user of the trail. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Scenic trails border the Bountiful Pond along the Legacy Parkway Trail near Salt Lake City, Utah. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Scenic trails border the Bountiful Pond along the Legacy Parkway Trail near Salt Lake City, Utah. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Trees and thick foliage border the Provo River Parkway in Provo, Utah. The 15.2-mile trail connects with several other rail-trails in the area. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Trees and thick foliage border the Provo River Parkway in Provo, Utah. The 15.2-mile trail connects with several other rail-trails in the area. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Cyclists pass by an underpass along the Legacy Parkway Trail that provides access to the Bountiful Pond. | Photo by Cindy Barks
Cyclists pass by an underpass along the Legacy Parkway Trail that provides access to the Bountiful Pond. | Photo by Cindy Barks

Produced by Rails to Trails magazine. Story and photos by Cindy Barks.

Cindy Barks
Cindy Barks

Cindy Barks is a freelance writer/photographer and Arizona newspaper reporter who has covered trails extensively in her community and in the southwestern U.S. She writes a travel and hiking blog at nearandfaraz.com.

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