Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and the State of Utah Division of Parks and Recreation recently announced the completion and opening of a new ATV connector trail in Utah County.

"This is fantastic and we are so excited to have this open and useful to anyone who wants to use it," said Dale Bartholomew, recreation trails specialists with the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation.

The new trail is the culmination of a project that started as a proposal from the Public Lands Equal Access Alliance, which was proposed several years ago. On June 7, it opened to the public.

Trail construction was conducted during a two-week period in mid-May by the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Utah State Parks and Recreation OHV Program, using trail dozers. Seven students assisted in the making of the connector trail. The students wanted to be certified to use a trail dozer, also know as a trail cat.

"These students were so helpful and each drove the trail cat for three hours to assist in the process," Bartholomew said.

A volunteer day was held on June 1, which is National Trails Day, to complete some minor brushing and rock removal on the trail. 

The Sheep Creek Connector Trail is located at the bottom of Sheep Creek Canyon just off State Highway 6. The trail starts at the junction of Highway 6 and Sheep Creek Road also known as FS Road 051 and travels up the canyon on the west side of Sheep Creek Road to the Unicorn Ridge Campground at the intersection of Sheep Creek Road and Indian Creek Road also known as FS Road 042. This trail is a key connector for ATVs up to 50 feet and OHM non-street legal machines and allows people to connect the Monks Hollow-Teat Mountain trail system via Forest Road 070, Teat Mountain, to the Strawberry trail system and then to the Manti La-Sal National Forest.

"This connector trail now makes it possible for a person on a non-street legal ATV to start at Daniels Summit on the Strawberry trail system and go all the way to the Arizona border to the south, to Nevada on the west and to Colorado on the east," Bartholomew said.

At the top of this six-and-a-half mile trail is a flat area available for anyone who wants to camp. With only six camp spots, patrons can also use the parking lot at the beginning of the trail to set up a campsite if the upper ones are taken.

"A lot of hard work was put into this project," said Duane Resare, recreation manager for Spanish Fork's Forest Service ranger district. "We are so glad that it will provide more area for those who enjoy ATVs and the connector trail will help them have a great experience."

The trail will be closed during the winter due to the snow but otherwise is open for public use. When the snow melts away it reopens for use. For more information visit www.fs.usda.gov.