LOGAN – The lower portion of the 54-mile Logan River could be more than just a pretty part of a trail system, it could also be a natural resource that attracts people to visit Cache Valley.
Recreationists already float the Bear River and the Snake River. Next year you may see more people using kayaks, rafts even innertubes floating the Logan River as part of the new Blue Trail.
Carly Lansche, the Cache County Trails director, said Logan City added a new trail to their trail system recently. The Blue Trail is an aquatic trail on the Logan River. It was recently added to their city trails master plan. The trail will start just below First Dam and go all the way to Cutler Reservoir.
“This is big,” she said. “We already have money backing the project.”
Logan City has already received $148,400 from the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation and the county has chipped in $100,000 from the RAPZ tax.
“We will be applying for more grants as we move forward,” Lansche said. “We’ve had experienced kayakers do a hazard survey of the river and identified where problems are. Now we are beginning the process of removing them.”
The plan calls for signs along the river that warn of dangers ahead, like ski hills have warnings so skiers can determine if they have the skills and expertise to use the hill.
Russ Akina, director of Logan Parks and Recreation, said the Outdoor Recreation Grant will be used to put in three river access locations at Rendezvous Park, Trapper Park and the one at 600 S. 19000 W.
“On the master plan there was a Logan River access at 600 S. and 1900 W. from there to the Cutler Marsh, but we have added the section from First Dam down,” Akina said. “The city has 24 months to finish the park and three access sites.”
“There is a lift station at the 600 S. 1900 W. site now, but we hope to develop the space there into a park with restrooms within two years,” he said. “Frank Howe from the Division of Wildlife Resources has had a big part in planning the upper section of the Blue Trail.”
A lot of Howes contributions have to do with his work on the Logan River Task Force. He is also a university liaison for DWR for all of the universities in the state and teaches at Utah State University.
“I’m trying to improve and develop river access points on the Logan River, focusing on carry in and carry out watercraft,” he said. “I also want to improve fisherman access to the river.”
Howe said they are going to put in some landings from First Dam to the west side of Cutler Reservoir. Some of the landings will be handicap accessible and follow ADA requirements.
“I’ve been talking to the people at Common Ground about their needs and I think the river will be a good place for their clients,” he said. “We will remove the wood mulch and put on gravel or something so they can get wheelchairs to the landings easier and give them a chance to float the river.”
Howe is working on having a clear and safe passageway from First Dam all the way down to Cutler Reservoir.
“We will be doing some clean-up, but we will not take out the old cars, and some of the concrete that have been dumped in the river,” he said. “The river has a history of people using it as a dump to get rid of stuff.
“When the clean-up of sharp metal and other dangerous materials are cleaned up the river will be a great place for rafting, canoeing and people can escape and actually have fun right in the city.”
The restoration will be beneficial to the fish; they have already created large pools to improve fish habitat.
“I’ve seen beaver, moose, otters and other wildlife on the river,” Howe said. “Rendezvous Park to Trapper Park should take about two hours and from Trapper’s to 600 S. 19000 W. would take about the same time.”
The last part of the journey would take more time.
The new trail designation truly will be a natural resource that attracts people to visit Cache Valley.