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The City Journals

Fifth annual Switchback Shindig raises funds for trails in Corner Canyon

Oct 31, 2019 03:17PM ● By Stephanie Yrungaray

A view from trails along Corner Canyon in Draper. (File photo courtesy Bill Decker)

By Stephanie Yrungaray | [email protected]

As people from all over Utah enjoy hiking, biking and horseback riding within the 4,500 acres of open space in Corner Canyon, most have no knowledge of the nonprofit force working behind the scenes to build, maintain and improve the trails they use. 

Since 2012, the Corner Canyon Trails Foundation has quietly but effectively worked with cities, including Draper, to “[make] mountain adventures possible through pathways to the outdoors in Corner Canyon and surrounding areas.”

The foundation relies on individual donations, corporate partnerships and the money raised from their once-a-year Switchback Shindig to fund their work, which costs approximately $18,000 per mile of new trail.

“It's our main fundraiser for the year,” said Bill Becker, executive director of the Corner Canyon Trails Foundation.” 

Trails supporters enjoy themselves at the fifth annual Switchback Shindig. (photo courtesy of Bill Becker).

On Oct. 4, the foundation’s fifth annual shindig was held at Embassy Suites in South Jordan. With the purchase of a $40 ticket, approximately 150 attendees enjoyed dinner, a comedy act, and a silent auction. Intermountain Healthcare, Wadsworth Development and Waterpro Inc helped sponsor the event.

This was the second time Draper resident Stephanie Frohman has attended the shindig. 

“The trail systems are one of the best things about living in Draper and we are happy to support it any way we can,” Frohman said. “It is always fun to see old friends and meet new people who care about the trails and outdoors.” 

Draper Parks and Trails Project Manager Brad Jensen said the Corner Canyon Trails Foundation has played a large part in developing the 90+ miles of trail in Draper. 

“Over the past three years we've done about 20–30 miles of trail [construction],” said Jensen. “[The trails foundation] has helped fund over half of those new trails. They’ve also given us help with hiring contractors and existing trail maintenance and repairs.”

“A lot of times people may not recognize how hard we work to get new trails in,” said Becker. “A lot of prep goes into it.”

Becker said they work hand-in-hand with Draper and other nearby cities to plan and execute trails. 

“We will look a couple of years in advance and plan out hiking trails or multipurpose trails and determine where to build them,” said Becker. “We meet [with cities] to discuss potential new trails and alignment and then hire a trail builder to cut the new trails. Fortunately, we are in a position where we can help fund some of these trails that would otherwise not be done.” 

Becker said they try to increase the amount of money they raise each year, and although final totals from this year’s shindig haven’t been tabulated, he is confident they were able to meet their fundraising goal. He also said support from companies in Draper and possible employee matching funds could help expand the foundation’s efforts. 

“As an executive director I’m kind of knocking on doors trying to get the general public to donate,” said Becker. “Support from local corporations would be a big help. As corporations recognize the benefits that [the trails] give their employees’ quality of life we hope that they will consider partnering with us.” 

Individuals or companies wishing to donate to the foundation can find out more information at their website, cornercanyontrails.com.

Draper officials agree that the efforts of the Corner Canyon Trails Foundation have made a large difference in the current trail system. 

“We could not have done the amount of trails we’ve been doing without the foundation,” Jensen said. “They've been great to work with.”