Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park
|Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park|
|Utah State Park|
Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail just north of Wanship
|- elevation||6,900 ft (2,103 m)|
|- elevation||5,280 ft (1,609 m)|
|Length||28 mi (45 km)|
|Area||450 acres (182 ha)|
|Management||Utah State Parks, Mountain Trails Foundation|
|IUCN category||V - Protected Landscape/Seascape|
The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail is 28 miles (45 km) long, and averages 125 feet (38 m) wide. The trail stretches between Park City and Echo Reservoir, following Interstate 80 across Silver Creek Canyon, then going along the Weber River through the towns of Wanship and Coalville. Elevation along the trail varies from 5,280 feet (1,610 m) to 6,900 feet (2,100 m), and total acreage is 450 acres (1.8 km2). The trail is designated to be used for only non-motorized activities, including biking, hiking, horseback riding, jogging, and Nordic skiing. The trail is managed by the Mountain Trails Foundation.
In 1871, demand for coal in the Salt Lake City area led to the organization of the Summit County Railroad Company, who built a five mile (8 km) narrow gauge railway to transport coal between mines in Coalville to the Union Pacific line in Echo. In 1880, the Utah Eastern Railroad built a narrow-gauge line between Coalville and Park City to transport coal to fuel the pumps that removed underground water from Park City’s silver mines. At the same time, the Union Pacific Railroad constructed the Echo-Park City Railway, a broad-gauge spur line, alongside it.
The narrow-gauge lines were eventually abandoned, and in 1989, Union Pacific abandoned their line. Union Pacific, along with the Division of Parks and Recreation, and A&K Railroad Materials, turned the property into the first non-motorized recreational trail in Utah. The state park opened to the public in 1992.
- Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park
- Julien, Liza; Elliot, Sally (January 1996). National Register of Historic Places Nomination: Union Pacific Park City Branch Railroad Grade (PDF). National Park Service.
- "11 photos, from 1995" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Inventory.
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