A $5,000 "in-kind" grant from the federal Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program will allow for development of a plan to extend the "Red Canyon Trail" to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.
The National Park Service has awarded the grant to the Scenic Byway 12 Committee for work on extending the Red Canyon Bicycle/Pedestrian Path to the national park. The Red Canyon Trail project is one of five projects awarded NPS assistance for fiscal year 2012. The planning project begins in March 2012 and community involvement is encouraged.
The first five-mile phase of the project was initiated in 1996 and completed in 2004. It was built for safety reasons to separate bicycles from motor vehicle traffic on Utah State Road 12. The road is also known as “Scenic Byway 12 All-American Road” and takes millions of visitors through Red Canyon to Bryce Canyon National Park. The second phase of the project in 2005 extended the bike path 3.5 miles to the Tropic Reservoir Road.
The RTCA program is the community assistance arm of the Park Service. The award for the project consists of $5,000 of in-kind planning assistance.
“RTCA is excited to help with planning for the missing link in the Red Canyon Trail,” said Marcy DeMillion, RTCA Community Planner. “Having a completed plan will help the communities compete well for grant funding to build the final five miles of the bike path.”
The Scenic Byway 12 Committee was established in 2002 after Route 12 was designated a National Scenic Byway and All-American Road by the Federal Highways Administration. The committee’s role is to implement the Scenic Byway 12 Corridor Management Plan.
“We are thrilled that the Red Canyon Bike Path extension will receive this assistance,” said John Holland, coordinator for the byway. “Now it’s time to fulfill the vision for the bike path. Local communities are working with our state and federal partners to extend and finish the path to Bryce Canyon. Land owners, citizens and businesses are also invited to join the planning sessions beginning March 8th.”
“The bike path extension will be a tremendous asset for our community and the visitors we all serve”, said Bryce Canyon Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh. “Having a well developed plan for the bike path extension will help attract funding for its construction in the future."
The U.S. Forest Service, Dixie National Forest led the first two phases of planning and construction.
"The Dixie National Forest is a proud partner with the Scenic Byway 12 Committee in completing the plan to extend the Red Canyon Bike Trail to Bryce Canyon National Park," said forest Supervisor Russ Bacon. "The scenic trail provides a unique non-motorized recreational opportunity for visitors to connect between the Dixie National Forest and Bryce Canyon National Park."