4 new mountain biking trails, skills park unveiled south of Cedar City

CEDAR CITY — Mountain biking enthusiasts joined officials from multiple agencies and partner organizations on Thursday afternoon as the ceremonial ribbon was officially cut on four new trails in the Iron Hills Trail System, along with a new bike skills track located near the Southview Trailhead.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for new mountain biking trails and skills park south of Cedar City, Utah, June 10, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Dave Jacobson, recreation planner for the Bureau of Land Management’s Cedar City District, said the project came together like the famous Johnny Cash song “One Piece at a Time.”

“When I think about the trail system here in Cedar City, I think about that song a lot,” Jacobson said. “Not that we stole it from the factory. Not that we put it in our lunchbox. But it was one piece at a time.”

“That’s really what it takes, all the pieces and all the parts, and everybody working together,” he added, thanking all who helped out with the project. “And whether it’s a big piece or a small piece, every piece matters in the end.”

Pitt Grewe, director of outdoor recreation in the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said collaboration between public and private entities is the “secret sauce” to making such projects happen.

“I get to come and ride my bike for a day and call it work and say, ‘Hey, that’s a great project,’” Grewe said jokingly before adding, “But I have to say of all the projects that I visited around the state, in the time that I’ve been in this position, this project, the Iron Hills trail project, has been the shining light. We have shared it over and over again to show what a great investment in outdoor recreation can do for a community.”

Southern Utah University student Addy Rich said she wanted to find a way to help out, as she’s an outdoor education student who has also been working as an intern for Briget Eastep, the executive director of SUU’s Outdoor Pathways.

“I knew I really wanted to build a trail or do something like that, because I love trails,” Rich said, adding that she wrote the grant that helped secure funding for the skills park.

Eastep herself also spoke during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, as did Stephen Lisonbee, who serves as Utah’s senior advisor of rural affairs, as well as being SUU’s assistant vice president of regional services. They both talked of the various educational and economic benefits of the project. Additionally, Mac Urie, board chair of Iron Trailcraft, explained how he and other members of his group assisted with the writing of grants, in addition to helping with the physical building of the trails.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for new mountain biking trails and skills park south of Cedar City, Utah, June 10, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The project’s various partners include the following: BLM Cedar City Field Office, Southern Utah University, Iron County, Cedar City Travel and Tourism, Iron Trailcraft, American Conservation Experience, International Mountain Bicycling Association Trail Solutions, Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, Utah State Parks and Progressive Bike Ramps.

As soon as the ribbon was cut, several local youth from the Iron Giants Mountain Biking team rode their bikes in and immediately began trying out the various obstacles on the skills track.

The Iron Hills Trail System is accessed via the Southview Trailhead in the southern part of Cedar City, at the end of South Shurtz Canyon Drive (click here for map).

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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