Award

Brent Thomas of the Cache Trails Alliance holds the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation Project of the Year award, an engraved ice axe, at the Bridger Bike Park in Logan on Wednesday.

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One of the newest additions to Logan’s parks has spent some time in the limelight with a recent state award.

The Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation recognized Logan’s Bridger Bike Park as its Project of the Year last week.

“To see that our project was recognized among the caliber of nominees (at the Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit) was pretty exciting and kind of a shock, really,” said Brent Thomas of the Cache Trails Alliance.

Logan Parks Director Russ Akina said he agrees.

“There were other well-deserving projects that were also considered,” Akina said. “Bridger Bike Park being recognized by the governor’s Office of Outdoor Recreation, it’s a great thing.”

The Bridger Bike Park opened last fall after what the Trails Alliance described as “a grassroots effort” supported by the alliance, the City of Logan, Cache County and local businesses. The Trails Alliance organized a funding campaign for the park, and the city matched those funds. Grants from county RAPZ funding and the state Office of Outdoor Recreation rounded things out.

Akina said the bike park has been in the works in some form “ever since the skate park was built, because that attracted uses that the skate park wasn’t designed for.”

Seeing bikers attempt to use the skate park, Akina said, “we knew immediately that we needed to start working on a recreational facility that would accommodate bike use.”

The award was an unexpected boost for the Trails Alliance.

“The park itself is its own award,” Thomas said. “Everybody that likes bikes can go there and check it out.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic driving people to look for ways to get out of the house but avoid groups of people, Thomas feels the park’s completion came just in time.

“The park just opened last fall and then this spring enthusiasts were looking for some creative ways to get outside and get some time outside in nature,” Thomas said.

Agencies at all levels, from local to national, have seen more people outdoors during the pandemic, Akina said.

“Through this pandemic, there has been an incredible increase in … outdoor recreation,” Akina said. “And it continues. It’s a great way (to be active), presuming we all do our part in following the protocols that are in place to keep everybody safe.”

The park’s versatility is an asset, as well, Thomas said.

“People from age 2 to 92 can have fun on this park because it’s been designed with all different skill sets in mind,” Thomas said. “From toddlers on strider bikes, there’s a little mini-section for young kids, and three or four different lines for beginners to advanced riders can get out there.”

Thomas said the Cache Trails Alliance has several irons in the fire, including working with the Forest Service to adopt and improve trails and working with Logan and private property owners to connect Logan Canyon trails to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

“It’s a great time to be a trail lover in Northern Utah, because there’s some energy and and enthusiasm (so) that I think we’ll see some good stuff happen,” Thomas said.

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