‘This is a magnificent facility’; Washington City celebrates opening of newest park

ST. GEORGE — A new park at the Hell Hole Trailhead officially opened with a ribbon-cutting last week. The park, which features a Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course, is touted by Washington City officials as a particularly unique facility city residents can enjoy.

At the official opening of the Canyons Park and Hell Hole Trailhead in Washington City, Utah, Nov. 23, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“This is a unique park in a unique area,” Barry Blake, Washington City’s leisure services director said. “There’s really nothing like this anywhere around.”

Both Blake and Washington City Mayor Ken Neilson said the new park is a rarity for the region, as there are only a handful of such “challenge and skill parks” located across the West.

Called the Canyons Park and Hell Hole Trailhead at Sienna Hills, the park has a small footprint when compared to other parks. However, it saw use by children and adults alike at its opening Saturday.

Children lined up to run the obstacle course to see if they could beat the time of a friend or sibling who went before them. Next to the course is a straight track where parents challenged their children, or adults challenged each other, to a run to also see who could get the best time. All the while, the timers located by the obstacle course counted the seconds and were subsequently restarted once a new challenge began.

City officials cut the ribbon marking official opening of the Canyons Park and Hell Hole Trailhead in Washington City, Utah, Nov. 23, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

A cluster of picnic tables and a shade structure sit in the middle of the park which stretches down the hillside opposite the obstacle course. On the slope are four large tube slides, two paired side-by-side, that provide swift travel to the bottom of the hill.

One little boy who went down the tube slides – albeit after some coaxing by his parents at the bottom – said the slide was “really fast” and kept referring to as “spitfire.”

“I love the whole thing,” Blake said when asked if he had a favorite part of the new park.

The park sits on what used to be the city dump, both Blake and Neilson said. Before the ribbon-cutting, Neilson, who grew up in Washington City, said the area also used to be a favorite hunting spot for locals who would go out and shoot rattlesnakes and rabbits.

Now, what was once the city dump many years ago has turned into a park city officials encourage the public to come and enjoy.

At the official opening of the Canyons Park and Hell Hole Trailhead in Washington City, Utah, Nov. 23, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“This is a magnificent facility. I hope you use it folks,” Neilson said. “Most importantly, we want you to use it and have fun.”

As for the Hell Hole Trail, Neilson said it will eventually connect with trails in St. George running along the Virgin River that reach into Bloomington.

The new park cost $1.2 million and was funded by impact fees. Equipment used for the obstacle course came from GameTime, which builds regular playground equipment as well as obstacle course packages. According to the company’s website, the package that Washington went with was over $75,000.

Prior to the park’s official opening Saturday, the public got a preview of the facility last month during a city-sponsored service project where volunteers were able to help assemble picnic tables and parts of the obstacle course.

The Canyons Park and Hell Hole Trailhead are located directly south of the Washington Parkway-Telegraph Street intersection.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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