LOGAN – The arrival of spring weather is good news for Cache Valley outdoor enthusiasts who are thronging to Logan’s extensive network of public paths and trailways.
But it’s bad news for the Sharp family of Logan who are being forced to contend with trespassers taking shortcuts to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail along the city’s east bench.
“We built a dream house in what we thought was a quiet area,” says Douglas Sharp. “But it turns out to be more of a nightmare … People amaze me. I’ve had people throw rocks at my dogs because they bark. People yell obscenities at my wife when she tells them (our backyard) is private property. My road is at times completely blocked with cars so that I cannot get into or out of my house.”
The Bonneville Shoreline Trail stretches north from a trailhead in Logan Canyon on Hwy 89 near First Dam all the way to Green Canyon in North Logan. The trail’s 1.8 mile length approximately traces what was once the prehistoric waterline of Lake Bonneville.
“The problem is that there aren’t many ways for the public to access the trail along its length,” according to Amy Z. Anderson, the chair of the Logan City Council.
The only official trailheads for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail are at its southern end near First Dam in Logan Canyon and at its northern end near 1900 North in Green Canyon. Public access to the trail is also available from 1300 North near Lundstrom Park. But Anderson acknowledges that many would-be hikers are tempted to take shortcuts to reach the trail across private property between those access points.
Unfortunately, the Sharp family’s backyard is one of those “convenient” shortcuts.
“People have actually told us that we’re being selfish by asking them to walk a couple of extra blocks to access the trail rather than cutting through our yard,” Victoria Sharp explains. “The city says that the trails are supposed to be closed after sundown, but we’ve had people walking through our backyard at all hours of the night. That’s frightening when you have small children at home.”
Anderson says that there is actually a public right-of-way leading to the trail through a ravine behind the Sharps’ home, but that way is unpaved and rugged. A clearly-beaten path from the top of Mountainview Lane also leads uphill to the trail, but that road is private property.
Anderson believes that the solution to the Sharps’ problem is two-fold: improved public access to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and better signage in the area of the Sharps’ home. The city council chair said that Logan is moving in both of those directions.
“I’ve spoken to the Sharps and the city certainly appreciates their concerns,” Anderson explains. “Russ Akina, our Parks and Recreation director, is already looking at ways to improve public access to the trail between 1300 North and 1900 North.”
Anderson added that the city is also looking at the option of installing new signage that will more clearly identify both public access to the trail and private property.