OGDEN — Happy trails, Weber County.
Weber Pathways’ TrailFest 2019 returns this weekend with a day full of activities aimed at encouraging folks to hike, bike and otherwise enjoy the county’s interconnected trail system.
According to organizers, the third annual event is designed to introduce more people to the extensive trails and paths criss-crossing the Ogden area. All activities are free.
Mark Benigni, executive director of Weber Pathways, said the area’s trails offer a needed shot of nature in the heart of an increasingly crowded Wasatch Front. TrailFest is designed to illustrate this point.
“We want to highlight to people how close they are to getting away from the city, right here in the city,” he said.
Weber Pathways board chairman Ron Thornburg said TrailFest is a chance to show off the impressive collection of trails in the county.
“We have an amazing trail network, and we want to be sure as many people as possible are aware of it, how much fun it can be and just how accessible it is,” Thornburg said. “So we have this big community party every year to introduce newcomers and say thanks to our longtime supporters.”
A number of activities will be offered from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at nearly two dozen spots along the county’s Centennial Trail. The Centennial Trail is a designated 27-mile loop formed by the connection of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and Ogden River Parkway and Weber River Parkway trails, passing through Ogden, South Ogden, Uintah, Riverdale, West Haven and Marriott-Slaterville.
And from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. that same day, in conjunction with the opening weekend of the downtown Farmers Market Ogden, the TrailFest Health and Fitness Expo will be held in the Ogden Amphitheater, 343 Historic 25th St.
Participants are invited to pick up TrailFest Passports at any of the checkpoints on the Centennial Trail, and get them stamped as they enjoy the free activities offered during the day. Among activities offered along the trail will be:
• Free family fishing on the Ogden River at the Grant Avenue checkpoint. (Equipment provided, ages 12 and younger don’t need fishing licenses.)
• A free bike helmet giveaway for children, hosted by Ogden Regional Medical Center, at the Timbermine checkpoint below the mouth of Ogden Canyon.
• Fossil casting at Ogden’s Eccles Dinosaur Park and Stewart Paleontology Museum.
• A dog comfort stop, sponsored by the Golden Spike Obedience Club, at the Riverdale Kayak Park checkpoint.
• A one-hour guided hike that explores how climate changes our surroundings, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Weber State University Discovery Loop trailhead checkpoint east of Stewart Stadium. Activities at the Discovery Loop will also include special demonstrations at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
• An activity by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics that explores techniques to protect and enjoy the land responsibly, held along the Ogden River Parkway near Grant Avenue.
Participants are then invited to bring their stamped passports to the expo in the amphitheater for a 1 p.m. prize drawing.
“Every time you get a stamp, you can exchange that for one ticket in a chance at an opportunity prize drawing,” Benigni said.
Every member of the family can get a passport, and if a family made it to all 23 checkpoints in four hours (a feat that is accomplished by only a handful of people on bicycles each year), “You’d have a high chance of winning a prize,” according to Benigni.
Thornburg said the drawing has been a popular feature of the annual TrailFest.
“So popular, that last year we ran out of tickets and had to send a staffer to get more tickets,” he said. “This year, I promise we will not run out of tickets.”
Organizers had planned to offer a 5K bubble run on Saturday, but that fun run has since been canceled.
The Bank of Utah sponsors the annual TrailFest. More information on the family-friendly event is available at www.weberpathways.org or by calling 801-393-2304.
“We encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the trails that day,” Thornburg said. “Or, if you’re just coming down to the farmers market, at least stop by the amphitheater and enjoy the health and fitness expo.”