Park City is home to more than 400 miles of maintained biking and hiking trails. Here are five trail recommendations that are great for families with young children and will help ease them into hiking and biking in Park City.

THE RAIL TRAIL
Activity: bike or hike
Surface: pavement
Length: Six miles out-and-back
While the entire Rail Trail stretches along 28 miles of the old Union Pacific Railway between Park City’s Prospector area and Echo Reservoir, try hiking or biking the three mile paved portion as an out-and-back. Start your journey from White Pine Touring where there is ample parking and you can rent bikes, bike trailers or tag-a-longs for the littlest members of your family.  The trail is relatively flat and there is a park and playground about two miles from the start, which is fun to enjoy on your way back.
Rail Trail Playground

MCLEOD CREEK TRAIL (FROM NEWPARK TO MCPOLIN FARM)
Activitiy: bike or hike
Surface: combination pavement and dirt double-track
Length: 4.3 miles one-way
This trail can be done as an out-and-back or once you have reached McPolin Farm (aka Park City’s famous white barn) you can hop on the free bus (complete with bike racks) and ride back to Newpark (or to your next destination). Starting from the Swaner Ecocenter and Preserve, continue on a paved path south along the preserve as it wraps around the Redstone and Newpark townhomes. At the first intersection turn left, and follow the dirt path along the preserve and past the historic Swaner barn. The path continues through the preserve’s wetlands, past a playground (a great resting spot!) and takes you along the outskirts of the Silver Springs neighborhood.  Shortly after the playground, the trail will cross a road and cut through the neighborhood before reaching the second playground in Willow Creek Park. This park has bathrooms, shaded picnic tables, and playground sections for toddlers and big kids. It is a great spot to stop, have a snack, and spend some time playing. From here cross Old Ranch Road and connect with the trail again as it runs along the boundary of Copper Moose Farm. The next section of the trail peacefully winds through the woods and along McLeod Creek. The final section runs parallel to Route 224, before taking you through a tunnel under the highway to your destination, McPolin Farm. More details can be found on Basic Recreation's website.
McLeod Creek Trail

WILLOW CREEK LOOP
Activity: bike or hike
Surface: dirt double-track
Length: 2 mile loop
Park at Willow Creek Park, which is located just off Old Ranch Road on Split Rail Lane. The trail loops from the park through the neighboring community. This is a great walk for young children since it ends at a playground, which is complete with shaded picnic benches and bathrooms.
Willow Creek Playground

SWANER PRESERVE WETLANDS DISCOVERY TRAIL 
Activity: light hike
Surface: boardwalk
Length: ¾ mile out-and-back
Start at the Swaner Ecocenter and pick up a discovery map and the code for the entry gate.  These are available at the front desk of the ecocenter. This self-guided out-and-back nature trail takes you through the Swaner Preserve and has eight stops along the way that correspond with fun facts in the brochure, making for a great learning experience. Photo credit: Swaner Ecocenter and Preserve
Swaner Ecocenter and Preserve

DEER VALLEY RESORT DUCK POND LOOP
Activity: light hike
Surface: pavement
Length: one mile
This paved path is perfect for small children. Park in the lowest lot at Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Lodge and hop on the paved path as it winds around the pond. You can stop along the way at Deer Valley Grocery Café for a snack or lunch on the deck.  The café has bread that you can purchase to feed the ducks.
Deer Valley Duck Pond

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Pack plenty of water and snacks
  • Apply and reapply sunscreen, and wear shade hats
  • When hiking with small children, find a way to make it exciting. Sometimes it’s fun to bring a pocket full of small toys that you hide on the trail for them to discover