The Historic Union Pacific Railroad Trail in Summit County, Utah offers two- and four-legged walkers a scenic path with a very colorful past. Originally known as the Transcontinental Railroad, this path was pivotal in the western expansion and economic growth of this country. Plaques are dotted along the trail to give walkers insight into the area's rich history; some highlights include the excavation site of Ice Age mammoths and the infamous Donner Pass. It is no surprise that the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy named this trail "Trail of the Month" in November 2010! This 28-mile-long, mostly gravel trail winds from Park City to Echo Reserve and features an exciting array of landscapes and wildlife for your pack to admire.
The trail difficulty is easy to moderate, but if you are looking for a more leisurely hike, consider starting at Park City, as it is mostly downhill to Echo Reservoir. There is parking for the Park City trailhead off Prospect Avenue, and there are 5 other trailheads along the way with parking, restrooms, and water access. The trail runs parallel to Interstate 80 and follows beautiful Silver Creek for most of the way. The first 3 miles are paved and great for those with mobility limitations; once outside of Park City, the paw-path turns to gravel as it traverses through narrow Silver Creek Canyon. As you approach Wanship, you will see the landscape transition to wetlands and farms with vibrant pastures and lovely antique barns. You may even run into a fox, moose, or even a bald eagle! Your trip will come to an end at Echo Reserve, which is a favorite spot for boating and fishing!
There is little shade along the trail, but, there are some picnic tables under the overpass where your pack can cool off. The great thing about the trail is there are 7 trailheads which allow walkers to customize how long or short they want their journey to be. If your pup is craving adventure, then this trail is doggone pawfect!