For park hoppers, Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park is unique in that it stretches for over 30 miles, following the trails initially laid down by the Coalville-Echo Railroad Company as they tried to organize a coal line in the region. Although a shortage of railroad stalled these plans, in 1871 the county of Summit formed their own railroad company and completed the abandoned project.
As this was happening, silver was discovered in the mountains surrounding the area. This made the county-owned rail company surge economically, which funded the surrounding town. In the early 90s, Union Pacific began shortening existing lines to modernize the rail network. When these coal lines were abandoned, the Division of Parks and Recreation teamed up with local organizations to turn the entire area into a state park.
In doing so, they've successfully preserved several structures that would have otherwise fallen into disrepair. Because of the nature of this park, there are several miles of hiking trails to wander through. These trails showcase the old coal processing plant, several foundational structures, and a small museum open seasonally.
In addition to the history offered on these trails, there's also plenty of natural scenery here to soak in. The hills that meander through the hardscrabble landscape are generally quite easy to traverse, but can occasionally present steep grades that may be difficult for the less abled.
If you'd like to bring your canine with you to explore everything offered here, make sure you keep them on a leash throughout your stay. Dog stations are posted at several trail entrances, so make sure to clean up any messes your dog might drop.
Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park's other popular activity is ATV riding. Several ATV-specific trails offer a chance to test your skills in a rocky, desert environment without having to travel hundreds of miles outside of civilization to enjoy it.