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Located in Utah Valley, the pristine Murdock Canal Trail, which opened in May 2013, is built over the now-enclosed canal. The beautiful 17-mile route connects seven communities in the Utah Valley at the base of Mount Timpanogos, south of Salt Lake City. The paved pathway has an adjacent dirt path for equestrian use. The trail is marked every quarter-mile and has established trailheads with restroom facilities and running water about every three miles.
Near 5300 W. (State Route 74) in Highland, there is a short gap in the trail that can be bridged via the bike lanes or sidewalk on that road, along with low-traffic West Park Rd. (10130 N.) and paved trails in Highland Glen Park. The Murdock Canal Trail resumes just south of the park and continues without any interruptions to Orem.
At the southern end of the trail in Orem, you can also head east paralleling UT 52 a short distance to reach the 15-mile Provo River Parkway. Both trails are part of the Golden Spoke trail network, which stretches more than 100 miles from Ogden to Provo.
At the northern end of the trail in Lehi, you can pick up the Historic Utah Southern Rail Trail and travel about 3 miles towards the city's downtown.
The Murdock Canal Trail has several trailheads in the following communities, from south to north:
Did this trail on inline skates, at a decent clip ~15 mph. Started at the point where there is a private property break in the trail (and public parking/facilities) around 40.410350, -111.781484.
I chose the southern portion of the trail:
1) it's around 10 miles one way
2) it connects to the Provo River trailhead, which seems like another good trail
3) it seems to be a real trail through the neighborhoods and scenery rather than a path that follows a high speed road
Great pristine asphalt surface and scenery (mountain views, rolling hills). Major roads have underpasses and the underpasses are in good shape. There are a few at grade intersections that are a little iffy (1600N). Good mix of humanity on a Saturday from MAMILs to families - most are aware of usual trail rules so it works and is friendly.
The northern portion of the trail, which I did not try, seems to have a connection around the private property through Highland Glen Park. It then continues NW to the Thanksgiving Point tech area along Timpanogos Highway (high speed, loud, but grade separated). I think this is an intended connection to the Porter/Rockwell trail in the future, but not now - lot of construction & dust.
On a beautiful Saturday morning in September of 2014, my wife and I enjoyed the Murdock Canal Trail.
We started at the parking lot/restroom area on West Bullriver Road and rode all the way to the endpoint at Highway 52 before heading back. If we were to do it again, I'm sure my wife would insist we park at Mitchell Hollow Park to avoid the ravine and Dry Creek below the flood control dam between E3200 N and Canterbury Drive. Both coming and going Grandma had to walk her bike up the incline due to the steepness..
That's the only negative to this trail. For a couple of southern Californians, we appreciated the wide open spaces, rural atmosphere, and the local culture. We especially enjoyed experiencing Orem on a quiet Saturday morning by observing from the trail lacrosse leagues, family bike rides, kids on trampolines, horse paddocks, and more church spires than you can count on two hands.
In addition there are stunning mountain views, vistas overlooking Orem and Utah Lake, rest areas, and info about the Murdock Canal, which runs beneath the trail in huge pipes.
All in all, we're glad we made a point of riding this wide, well-maintained, and what we would rate easy trail (as long as you avoid Dry Creek Ravine).
Wow, what a hero you are! That is a lot of miles in two days. I want to go Saturday for sure...lets do 55! Should we do the Murdock canal trail again? I liked that ride.
Somes up her thought about this trail and our bike ride on 7-18-15
This was the 1st time on Murdock. The reviews and facts on this site helped alot in deciding to ride this 17 mile trail.
Coming from north I15 we got to Thanksgiving Point, and drove about 1.5 miles east to the very start of the trail and began our ride above it's heavy intersection. Parked at the side of the road by the car dealership, crossed the road and began riding. The riding was wonderful, trail is marked well and is wide. Only confusing part was when we got to a park which everyone who rides this far on the Murdock trail will get to this park. No real marking of which way to go but I assume it's because any way through the park will keep you on the trail, at the park entrance it's best to make a right but if you continue east you'll hit a main road we went right. From the right turn, about a 1/2 mile there is a bathroom and a nice map and entrance back onto the trail. The 2 bathrooms we hit were clean! There are bathrooms all along the way.
At about mile 9 or at least after the park on the trail I saw one drinking fountain on the east of the road with a nice covered rest stop. Beyon (heading south) on the westside is a vending machine! It looked stocked but I didn't check it out.
The ride is nice, roosters,barns, close view of the mountains and lake. There are steel bars for bikers to pass through but for safety reason, to cross streets. At the end of the trail we continued east about 2 miles get onto the Provo River Trail. This was a wonderful connection with a very gradual climb to a close up view of Bridal Falls. The trail is older could use an uplift, the cool thing is the trail is split in 3 sections. 1 for walkers, 1 for bikers going east & 1 lane for bikers going west. Great idea!
After Bridal falls we continued up east on the trail for 2 miles and hit a park for a well deserved break. Bathroom no so great here.
All in all the trip took us 2.24 hrs up and roughly 2.10 hrs down. There was 1 challenging hill that you have to do on the Murdock but nothing on the Provo River Trail. Our total roundtrip mileage for 7-18-2015 was 49.8 miles. We started about 7:15 am with light jackets on and we were back into the car about noon and it was now about 82 degrees or more.
Both trail are really good but together I thought incredible to bike ride on.
I really injoy this trail will use it more offen .
I rode this trail from the Bull River Trailhead in Lehi to Pleasant Grove and was pleasantly impressed (appox. 19 miles RT). This trail connects up with what appears to be an extensive trail system linking many neighborhoods and other trails. Ample signage directs you to the other spurs and trailheads along the way. There is a small portion of the trail that takes you out onto Alpine Highway, but there is a generous bike path and a sidewalk if you feel exceptionally cautious. The Murdock Canal Trail meanders through quiet suburbs and bucolic farmland, with not much traffic on a Sunday morning. You will also see impressive views of Utah Lake, Mount Timpaganos and the Lone Peak Wilderness area. Underpasses give you a little variation in terrain, and there are a few street crossings over quiet residential streets. I look forward to riding the remaining 8 miles past Pleasant Grove.
I rode this trail today from the Orem TH up to Highland and was extremely impressed! The trail is clean, well-paved, and wide; I appreciated the benches and bathroom along the way. Will ride again! Very very nice.
I just started riding this trail and I love it! Very easy access to a well thought out trail system with great plans to connect with other trails in the near future. Beautiful scenery with light rolling hills. This is a great resource for runners, and cyclists in the area.
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