SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – A new lease agreement between Salt Lake County and Rio Tinto Kennecott will bring 12 miles of new trails to the county.

The agreement, that was signed on Tuesday secured 17 acres of land aimed at providing improved outdoor recreation options in Butterfield Canyon. The partnership will help with the continued effort by Salt Lake County to build a network of multi-use trails to improve access to Rose, Yellow Fork, and Butterfield canyons.

The new trails will be built in areas where public access has previously been unavailable.

This lease agreement follows last week’s purchase of 94 other acres of open space in Butterfield Canyon and complements a recent acquisition of 50 acres that will serve as a trailhead to this system of trails. Together, these acquisitions are a critical part of Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation’s master plans to increase accessible, equitable, sustainable, and quality open space for everyone in the county. 

“We are moving quickly and deliberately with many partners to make hiking, biking, and other recreation on our west bench trails a reality,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “We are grateful for the partnership with Rio Tinto Kennecott, Bureau of Land Management, Spencer Millerberg, and the stakeholder group. The collaborative efforts, a first of its kind for outdoor recreation, will provide residents and guests an enhanced outdoor experience in the southwest region of the county.”

The new partnership will expand trail and recreation options for equestrians, hikers, and mountain bikers in the southwest region of Salt Lake Valley.