New biking trail and visitor center opens in East Zion

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FILE – This Sept. 15, 2015, file photo, shows Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah. A California woman who was missing for about two weeks in Zion National Park in Utah has been found and left the park with her family who had feared the worst, authorities said. Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38, of Los Angeles, was found Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, by search and rescue crews after park rangers received a tip that she had been seen in the park, Zion National Park officials said in a news release.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4) – Bikers heading to Zion National Park can look forward to a new mountain biking trail.

The new trail will be located on the east side of Zion National Park, located beyond park borders. The new development is part of the East Zion Initiative, a venture focused on creating a “conservation-based, sustainable gateway rooted in providing visitor experiences and services, nurturing our next generation of public land stewards.”

The new trail will also be accompanied by the opening of an official National Park Service Center, an EV electric shuttle bus hub, a regional transportation center linking guests and visitors to neighboring towns and sights.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Wednesday at the intersection of State Route 9 and North Fork Road in Kane County. The event will also kick off a fundraising event to develop Phase II” of additional 24.5 miles of mountain biking trails and 40 miles of new hiking trails.

“The East Zion Initiative and protection of the landscape through conservation easements is a critical priority for Zion National Park,” officials say. “The project aligns with the park’s long term General Management Plan and helps alleviate the impacts of overcrowding in Zion’s main canyon by extending the visitor experience beyond the boundaries of the park.

Earlier this year in September, a $10.8 million grant was awarded to build the “Zion Corridor Trail,” a 12-foot-wide, 18-mile-long asphalt trail from the LaVerkin Confluence Park to Springdale.

Officials say the road aims to reduce traffic and congestion along SR-9 by providing a safe, alternative form of commuting and sightseeing. The finished trail will connect visitors to Zion, St. George, and Springdale.

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