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Friends of Summit County Equines advocates for a Pony Express Park in lower Silver Creek

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Passing through the northern part of Summit County lies part of the Pony Express Trail. Although it only lasted 18 months, from April 1860 to October 1861, the mark it left on the country with its ability to get mail from Missouri to California in just ten days is still felt today.

In honor of the trail and the history of Summit County as horse country, the Friends of Summit County Equines are advocating for the creation of Pony Express Park in lower Silver Creek through a petition that will be submitted to  Summit County Council.

The potential park is being proposed at Parcel SS-32-C, which Summit County purchased in the summer of 2022. The property is being used to build a connecting road between Silver Creek Road and Bitner Ranch Road. Friends of Summit County Equines advocates for the park to be located on the excess land not needed for road construction.

Location of Parce SS-32-C in Summit County.
Location of Parcel SS-32-C in Summit County. Courtesy of Utah Geospatial Resource Center.

Among the many uses being proposed at the park, in addition to a Pony Express Interpretive site, is a trail system that could be used for horse riding, hiking, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, dog walking, and more. The proposal also suggests hosting learn-to-ride and Equine Experience Programs at the park.

With fewer and fewer areas remaining wild across Summit County, a big reason for establishing the park is trying to preserve what the area was about before the rapid rise of development. The petition mentions a time in the 1990s when the Kimble Junction area consisted of just a fuel station, with the rest being “pure horse country.”

If built, the Pony Express Park would follow many establishments and educational markers already present in several areas of the state, with one being located off Jeremy Ranch Road near Highway 65.

 

Map of the historic Pony Express Trail.
Map of the historic Pony Express Trail. Courtesy of the National Park Service.

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