Midway City Connecting Trails In Town

Midway City is moving forward on plans to connect trails within the town.

Midway City Mayor Celeste Johnson explains that developers in Midway have long had requirements to create trails while building out neighborhoods.

“Because the city has been developed in a rather hopscotch way—which is typical, it’s not an unusual thing—we ended up with a whole bunch of small pieces of trails that don’t connect to anything,” Johnson explained. “Fast forward 10-15 years we are dealing with repair and infrastructure maintenance on systems that don’t go anywhere. So, until these trails are connected, we’re paying for something that’s kind of silly in a simple word.”

The city is working to connect the trails they currently maintain. They’re doing with help from state grants.

“We have secured through the state approximately $300,000 worth of grant money, that we have to match,” Johnson continued. “We’re using that money exclusively to connect these trails so that we end up with loops and trails that go to the State Park. Connected all the way from the East side of Midway all the way up to the State Park.”

The Parks and Trails committee recently completed a survey of residents regarding what they’d like to see from the trails. Johnson reports the survey had nearly 700 participants.

“That number is pretty dramatic,” Johnson said. “I was just at the Utah League of Cities and Towns meeting; Layton did a survey and they were so thrilled to get almost 700 respondents. Layton City, we’re a little town of 5,000 and we had 700 respondents. So, our community is very engaged in this process. We’re looking at what they want and that’s what we intend to do.”

Right now, most of the trails are hard path trails but Mayor Johnson says the city does have interest in building soft path trails in part for horses but also because Johnson says they are cheaper to maintain.

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.