Is it Trail Running or Trail Maintenance?


There’s no doubt that I love singletrack trails. There are few things that compare to that winding ribbon of dirt fading in the distance or twisting though a beautiful aspen grove. It’s spring (even though it snowed at my house yesterday) and that means the waiting game is on for the really good singletrack to thaw from a long winter’s slumber.Winter snowfall along the Wasatch has been above normal and spring temps have been slow to warm up, so chances are that the good stuff won’t thaw for at least another couple months.

Luckily, there are plenty of low-lying singletrack trails along the foothills around Salt Lake City. As it turns out, I’ve been exploring the myriad of trails near Draper on the north side of the Point of the Mountain. With all the development in the area, Draper has been fairly good about maintaining some singletrack in and out of the neighborhoods. Some of these trails are marked and others are not, but they are all worth exploring.

Mmmm… Flowy Singletrack

Heading out at lunchtime, I’ve started to explore these trails on foot… trail running. I’ve got some great gear that I’m flogging including the new Vasque Aethertech Softshell trail running shoes, Outdoor Research Sequence Tee, Outdoor Research Avido Jacket, Arc’Teryx Accelero Pullover and the Arc’Teryx Velox Comp Crew shirt. I’m digging the Vasque’s and the jackets and tee shirts are great for cool morning runs or bike rides.

Back to the reason why I like trail running in the spring. As the trails are thawing, sometimes the snowpack reveals deadfall or overgrown branches. There may have been some excessive erosion due to the runoff as well. So, while I run for a great workout, I also run to slow things down a tad–giving me time to do some trail cleanup like removing large rocks or dead branches on the trail.I also find that trail running allows me to see the terrain better and get a feel for how it will flow on two wheels.

Check with your local trailbuilding association, or start by heading over to to see what you can do to support your local trail organizations. Here along the Wasatch, there are two great organizations that I now of that are building and maintaining some great trails.

So, get out there and hike or trail run on your favorite singletrack. while you’re at it help maintain them by removing deadfall and rocks to improve the trails for us all.

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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