A love of mountain biking and a want to assist the neighborhood had been the driving forces behind former Nice Grove resident Jason Cowley’s concept to deliver a path system to the town.
Since he introduced the concept to metropolis leaders about seven years in the past, the Valley Vista Trails have been constructed within the foothills and are utilized by 1000’s of individuals yearly.
Cowley mentioned, in 2013, he started considering that it will be cool to have trails in Nice Grove. He went to a metropolis open home the place a doable future bike park was being mentioned.
“I requested them, ‘What if we stored the hills pure and put in a path system?’” he mentioned.
After tons of of hours of laborious work, conferences, and trainings with path builders, Cowley proposed the unique design, assisted with the ultimate design plan, and flagged the paths for development.
The Valley Vista Path System formally opened in Might 2017 after a number of months of development in addition to tons of of volunteer hours. The system, at first, included eight trails for a mixed distance of about 5.5 miles.
In 2019, Section 2 of the path system was accomplished, which added one other 3 miles of trails. In accordance with Cowley, there’s a Section 3 within the works, as effectively. Cowley did the design work for the second and third phases.
For the reason that trails first opened, Cowley has supplied a lot of the upkeep alongside metropolis staff. He additionally ran the volunteer days and has spent tons of of hours yearly ensuring the paths had been effectively taken care of, he mentioned.
The paths have been well-used. Throughout mountain biking season, 1000’s of tourists use the paths yearly. Along with individuals using mountain bikes, path runners, hikers, walkers and equestrians use the paths.
“It’s a gem of the neighborhood,” Cowley mentioned in regards to the path system. “It protects our foothills.”
The truth is, Cowley has been instructed that the paths have served as hearth breaks for a few fires within the foothills throughout the previous few years.
Cowley has additionally labored with the Nice Grove Excessive Faculty Biking Vikings mountain bike workforce as head coach for six years.
“There have been 30 members of the workforce the primary 12 months and elevated to 130 the final 12 months I used to be there,” he mentioned.
On Sept. 1, the Nice Grove Metropolis Council offered Cowley with a Neighborhood Service Award.
“Over the previous seven years, he has actually given blood, sweat and tears, alongside along with his household and lots of people in the neighborhood, to create what’s now Valley Vista Trails,” Councilmember Cyd LeMone mentioned. “We’d not have these if it was not for Jason.”
LeMone mentioned the paths have been such an enormous asset to the neighborhood and a spot the place youngsters can get off the video video games and their telephones and go trip up within the mountains of Nice Grove.
Lately, Cowley determined to return to high school in St. George to pursue a level in recreation administration, hoping to proceed work with path constructing and trails administration. He has additionally began a path constructing firm, Dust Lizard Trails.
“Oh, it was heartbreaking,” he mentioned in regards to the determination to maneuver away from the paths he loves.
He even spent his final day in Nice Grove doing path upkeep for about 5 hours.
Cowley hopes individuals proceed to care for the paths. One of the simplest ways to do that, he mentioned, is to remain off of them when they’re closed. When individuals trip the paths throughout muddy situations, ruts are created.
He additionally hopes neighborhood members proceed their assist on the volunteer days.
“We’ve at all times had a very good turnout,” he mentioned. “There have been 170 individuals final time.”
Path customers will discover Cowley’s identify when up within the foothills. Two of the paths are named for him: Cowley’s Curse and Cowley’s Remedy.
“This has been a labor of affection,” Cowley mentioned. “I hope to return again to the paths.”