||Murdock Canal Trail
The Murdock Canal Trail is a paved multi-user trail 17 miles in length. It follows the
Murdock Canal route (the canal is now underground for the entire length)
from the mouth of Provo Canyon in the south to Thanksgiving Point in the
north. It opened in May 2013.
A rider approaches from the south in
the Highland section. There's a smaller alternate trail for horsemen etc
on the other side of the canal. Photos and review by Bruce
on August 3, 2013.
|The trail connects to many community trails such as the
Lindon Heritage Trail, the Highland Glen trail, and the trail to Art Dye
Park in American fork. More trails will tie into the Murdock Canal Trail as time goes
Connections are planned to the Jordan River
Parkway at the north end and the Provo River Parkway
trail at the south end.
A nice spot for a picnic or to let the
kids play: Highland Glen. This is where you hook up with paved trail to
the mouth of American Fork Canyon.
||The trail is broad pavement, which is nice for safe passing.
Already speedsters are using this as a training ride, mixing it up with
families towing bike trailers, skateboarders, roller bladers, hikers, and
horse riders. Even on a busy Saturday, there was never any problem moving
around large groups.
Approaching an underpass. The trail to
the roadway has already split off on your left.
|Underpasses take the trail beneath the busiest streets
(although there's one intersection in Orem -- yeah, the traffic light --
where the trail could really really use an underpass). Less-traveled
streets have crosswalks, with a stop sign for YOU, the trail rider. Many
of these street crossings have high fences right at the sidewalk. You
can't see the traffic until your front wheel hits the gutter. So blowing through the
stop sign on those streets might get you killed. If you're not going to
obey the law and actually stop, at least slow down enough that you can
look before crossing.
Heading into Pleasant Grove
||Rest rooms are spaced regularly along the trail (about every
three miles), at the trailheads below. There's water at the trailheads,
but also at a few scattered picnic tables with drinking fountains.
Looking to the northwest from the
trail, we see the American Fork Temple mid-left and the Bingham Canyon
copper mine mid-right.
|The scenery is nicer than you'd think. It doesn't feel like
you're riding through the suburbs. The mountains are always in view and in
the Lindon area there are nice looks toward the valley and Utah Lake.
Northbound as the trail twists through
||A word from our sponsor: The
best way to enjoy this trail is to buy a nice road bike (or cyclocross
bike) from the UtahMountainBiking.com store in Lehi. Great prices,
||Navigation is very easy until you reach one spot: the trail
makes a detour in Highland. Southbound, you'll leave the trail to go north
on the Alpine Highway. After 1/2 mile, turn right on West Park Road (10130
N) toward Highland Glen. As
you reach the grassy area at the little lake, fork 90 degrees south.
Northbound, you'll veer to the
left when you arrive at the lake. (The lake is just over the grass, out of
sight.) Aim for the straight, westbound path. Exit the park and pedal
uphill on subdivision road.. At the Alpine Highway, turn
south (left) and go 1/2 mile to find the trail again.
View to the west and Utah Lake.
|Formal Trailheads with bathrooms and water (N to S):
- Bull River Rd (Timpanogos Highway eastbound -- not commuter lane! -- and
take Lehi 1200 W exit right, then
immediate right to go west on Bull River Rd to
approx 1400 W in Lehi)
- Mitchell Hollow Park (6450 W 10400 N in Highland)
- Highland Glen Murdock TH (on 4800 W in Highland turn west on Cedar Hills
Dr at the light just south of Lone Peak HS. Left at the T, then left just
before the main road descends to the park)
We're coming back from the mouth of
American Fork Canyon on the Highland Glen Trail, one of the many trails
that connect to Murdock.
Highland Glen Park itself (on Alpine Highway, turn east on West Park Road (10130
N) and coast down to the parking lot)
Canyon Road (on SR 146 where trail goes under road)
Wade Springs (1100 N 600 E in Pleasant Grove)
Lindon View (300 N 780 E in Lindon)
Trail ends at 800 N Orem. There's parking at Provo River Parkway TH, 1630 E 800
North (just off Highway 189)
Typical trailhead. This one is Bull
River Road. Good spot to start a 35-mile out-and-back!
Great trail for fitness buffs, families, or beginning riders. Lots of
amenities (it's never far to a bathroom or drinking fountain). Most of the
riding is flat --good for unconditioned riders.
Southern SLC riders: Take Highland Blvd to the east frontage road
southbound. Cross Point of The Mountain. At the traffic light for
Timpanogos Highway, it's safest to pretend you're a pedestrian. From the
far right on the frontage road, get into the crosswalk. Cross the frontage
road in the crosswalk, then hit the "crosswalk button". When you
see the little white walking guy, get on your bike and ride in the
crosswalk across the wide Timpanogos Highway and up onto the Murdock Canal
There are a lot of these little rest
stops. Shaded picnic table, trash can, and drinking fountain. Luxury.