Legacy Parkway Redux

I’ve written about the Legacy Parkway Trail before, but I had a chance to ride it again today and I love it even more now than I did then.  It’s a fun ride and the connections to nearby businesses and neighborhoods are among the best that I’ve ever seen anywhere.  I wanted to share my observations as well as some pictures.

The Legacy Parkway Trail runs 12 miles from Farmington to the north end of Salt Lake City where it connects with the Jordan River Parkway to take cyclists into the heart of Utah's largest city.

The Legacy Parkway Trail runs 12 miles from Farmington to the north end of Salt Lake City.

The Legacy Parkway Trail was part of a compromise to get the adjacent Legacy Parkway highway project built.   In this part of the world, if you want to put in a new highway you have to make accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists.  It’s just the way things are and it’s a very good thing.  You’ll see trails along  other highways all over the Wasatch Front and along Colorado’s Front Range as well.

The Legacy Parkway is built for speed.  It parallels a 4 lane divided highway its entire length.

The trail itself is built for speed. It parallels a 4 lane divided highway its entire length.

Neighborhood connections are signed and easy to follow.

Neighborhood connections are signed and easy to follow.

There are zero road crossings along the entire length of the trail making it safe and easy to get to the big city.

There are zero road crossings along the entire length of the trail making it safe and easy to get to the big city.

There are commercial and even rail connections.  The Farmington FrontRunner station is to the right and easily accessible from the trail.

There are commercial and even rail connections. The Farmington FrontRunner station is to the right and easily accessible from the trail.

Zoom, zoom.  I love this.

Zoom, zoom. I love this.

If you don’t look at this trail closely you might think it’s just a recreational trail, but it’s not.  It’s all about active transportation.  Nobody wants to ride along a highway in a state like Utah.  There are incredible cycling resources within a stone’s throw of the Legacy Parkway, and if you’re out for a joyride they might be your first choice.    If you want to get from Farmington to Salt Lake City, though, the Legacy Parkway Trail is a viable alternative.

This project was well thought out.  There are no road crossings over its twelve-plus mile length from Burke Road in the north to Interstate 215 in the south.  You can traverse the whole route without crossing a single street.  That means that you can make good time without worrying about what the adjacent motorists are doing.  The trail is well signed, fast and smooth.  I was able to easily maintain a 20 mph pace while riding it today.  Some of the people who passed me were going faster still.

Where the Legacy Parkway Trail really shines though is in how it connects neighborhoods to destinations.  There are numerous spur trails that make it possible for local residents to ride to nearby shops, entertainment venues and even corporate headquarters.  There’s no good excuse not to cycle if you live in this area.  You can get just about everywhere using this trail as your transportation backbone.

The Legacy Parkway Trail is the backbone, but additional trails connect neighborhoods and make this an awesome transportation resource.

The Legacy Parkway Trail is the backbone, but additional trails connect neighborhoods and make this an awesome transportation resource.

To the north, you can easily connect to the Denver and Rio Grande Western Rail Trail and ride all the way to Roy.  Hopefully there will someday be an extension into Ogden. For now, you can take surface streets over these last three miles. To the south, the Legacy Parkway Trail seamlessly connects to the Jordan River Parkway and that takes  you into the heart of Salt Lake City and beyond, almost all the way to Provo.

The more I ride the Legacy Parkway Trail, the more I find to like about it.  It’s a state of the art solution that allows a large cross section of the northern Wasatch Front to leave their cars parked and bike to wherever it is they’re going…safely and conveniently.

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