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Trails down road for Summit County

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Regional rivalry between Sun Valley and the Park City area may soon go beyond ski slopes, condo shares and T-shirt shops.

Recreation planners are developing a 70-mile network of pedestrian and bike trails in western Summit County that could, indeed, remind recreational enthusiasts of the Idaho resort's elaborate trail system."There's an incredible demand here for trails. People say, `Give us the Sun Valley experience,' " said Troy Duffin, trails project manager for the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District.

The trail master plan calls for a series of north-south and east-west trails, reaching from Jeremy Ranch to Deer Valley Resort and Jordanelle State Park.

Most of the small, backwoods trails will have soft, natural surfaces, while the major trail projects along U-224 and I-80 will combine paved and natural paths.

In Park City, work will soon be under way to finish a 12-foot-wide paved bicycle and pedestrian trail along the west side of U-224. The trail will connect to a recently connected trail at Payday Drive, travel past McPolin Farm barn and end at White Pine Canyon Road.

"We hope to have that trail completed by October 15," city spokeswoman Linda Cook said.

The estimated $515,000 Park City project will eventually connect on both ends with the proposed Millennium Trail included in SBRD's long-range trail plan. It is in the bidding phase for private contractors.

Duffin said the Millennium Trail will be a major nonmotorized recreational trail for runners, walkers, bikers, in-line skaters and equestrians. It will likely run several miles from Kimball Junction through Park City along U-224.

Expect it to be completed in 2000; hence the name Millennium Trail.

The trail will also afford an invaluable, alternative transportation route during the 2002 Winter Olympics, connecting ski resorts and other sports venues.

"That puts us in a position to potentially get some Olympic money to help build the trail," Duffin said.

A proposed east-west trail along I-80 will eventually create a T-spine in the district's major trail plan. The yet-to-be-named trail will begin west of Jeremy Ranch and eventually connect with the existing Rail Trail.

Hikers and bikers seeking a more backcountry experience will likely be satisfied with the proposed Midmountain Trail. The natural-surface path will extend from the Winter Sports Park to Deer Valley Resort and, potentially, stretching to Jordanelle State Park.

SBRD's trail project will be funded through agreements with property developers and, to a lesser extent, district dollars.

Duffin emphasized the exact positioning of each proposed trail is still being developed while planners work with landowners and developers.