Unique Excursions is a small tour firm situated within the tiny mountain resort city of Park Metropolis, Utah (USA). The corporate, which is owned and operated by 27-year-old Jeff Manwaring, conducts year-round climbing and biking excursions for locals and vacationers alike. If climbing or biking isn’t your factor, simply discuss with Jeff and he’ll set you up on an unbelievable prepare journey, golf outing, cave exploration, kayak journey or absolutely anything else you possibly can consider. On the subject of out of doors leisure, Park Metropolis, Utah is likely one of the greatest locations on the earth… and Unique Excursions is right here that can assist you get pleasure from your adventures on this superb mountain paradise.
Just lately, I had the nice pleasure of becoming a member of Unique Excursions on one among their common summer season bicycle excursions – a 15-mile bike journey on Park Metropolis’s historic Rail Path bike path. On the tour with me was Mr. and Mrs. Muffoletto, residents of Park Metropolis who got here to Unique Excursions as a result of they merely wished to do one thing enjoyable and outdoorsy on their house turf. Additionally on the tour was Robert Kibble, his son (additionally named Robert), and their household care sitter, Katie.
I met Jeff, the tour chief, and his assistant Terrea in a car parking zone simply north of the begin to the Park Metropolis Rail Path. As soon as there, I launched myself to the pair and waited for the opposite tour members to reach. In the meantime, Jeff and Terrea unloaded the bikes from the massive firm shuttle bus. Proper off the bat, I used to be impressed at how good the bicycles really have been. Not like some tour firms that use solely the most affordable of bicycles on their guided expeditions, the bikes that have been getting used right here by Unique Excursions have been pretty excessive class. This was nice to see!
The primary group of riders to reach was Mr. and Mrs. Muffoletto. As quickly as they arrived, Jeff launched himself and defined the route that everybody could be taking over the tour.
The Park Metropolis Rail Path is a 28-mile climbing path and bike-way that traverses by the Wasatch Mountains close to Park Metropolis and the wetland meadows in Silver Creek Canyon. The path was constructed over what was the Union Pacific Railroad spur that ran from the mining city of Park Metropolis to the principle Union Pacific Railroad line in Echo, Utah.
The Rail Path was first opened in 1992 and was one among America’s first 500 rail trails. Beginning within the Prospector Sq. space of downtown Park Metropolis, the path begins out at an elevation of 6,900 toes and continues from there at a gradual 2-3% downhill grade. On the path’s northern most finish, the elevation is a meer 5,200 sq. toes, which signifies that when you begin in Park Metropolis and proceed on the path from there, it’s virtually a wholly downhill journey, which makes for an unbelievable out of doors expertise for cyclists of all ability ranges.
After Mr. and Mrs. Muffoletto have been fitted with helmets and the correctly sized bicycles, they took off down the trail alone, whereas Jeff and I waited for the second group of cyclists to affix us. Moments later Robert, Robert and Katie arrived. Little Robert, who was simply 9-years-old could be the youngest rider of the day.
As soon as everybody was suited up for his or her 15-mile journey down the historic Park Metropolis Rail Path, all of us took off at good regular tempo.
For the primary couple miles, as you permit downtown Park Metropolis, the path is paved and pretty populated, because the path on this a part of town is a well-liked space for runners, walkers and cyclists of all sorts. Within the picture beneath, you possibly can see Jeff on the suitable in his orange jersey, main Robert and Katie down the path whereas the slopes of Park Metropolis Mountain Resort (a well-liked winter ski and snowboard resort in downtown Park Metropolis) sits looming within the distance.
Over the primary couple miles on the path, there’s a plethora of plant and animal life. Geese, beaver and even an occasional moose or fox will be noticed right here.
After just some miles, the Park Metropolis Rail Path turns to filth, the excessive vegetation disappears and the surroundings transforms right into a excessive desert panorama stuffed with colourful brief grasses, vivid pink thistles, the occasional sunflower, and a sprinkling of conventional livestock.
As we journey, our tour chief, Jeff, jumps from one rider to the subsequent, speaking to them every as we go alongside. Jeff is an extremely personable man and from the get-go I do know that I’m going to love him. He’s nice at dealing with the calls for of every of his prospects and it’s apparent that he loves what he’s doing.
At three or 4 completely different locations alongside the route, the collaborating cyclists and I have been pressured to cease and stroll our bikes by unlocked cattle guards. As soon as by, we’d shut the gate behind us and proceed on our method.
Jonathan, the younger 9-year-old boy in our group, did an unbelievable job biking his method down the 15-mile stretch of unpaved street. He not solely made the bike journey look simple, however he appeared to be having quite a lot of enjoyable within the course of.
After the primary seven or eight miles of regular biking, our tour group crossed below Utah’s Interstate 80 and continued on the path, which now ran alongside aspect a gradual shifting creek to our proper. Right here, the downhill grade of the path picked up a bit and for a lot of lengthy stretches we have been in a position to journey our bikes with out even having to pedal. You can simply sit again and benefit from the surroundings!
For a number of miles we coasted like that, pedaling every so often, till we arrived within the tiny city of Wanship. As soon as there, we met up with Terrea, who had pushed the corporate shuttle bus up forward to satisfy us, and the opposite tour riders in our group, Mr. and Mrs. Muffoletto, who had arrived in Wanship a number of minutes earlier than the remainder of us.
At a small trail-side car parking zone and relaxation station, there have been sandwiches, chips, drinks and an entire host of different snack meals awaiting us. It was simply after midday at this level, so the timing couldn’t be extra excellent. All of us sat down and rested our legs whereas we chatted with each other concerning the journey.
After ending our lunch, I snapped a photograph of everybody within the group, earlier than our bikes have been loaded again onto the shuttle bus and we have been all pushed again to Park Metropolis the place out tour had begun just some hours prior.
For anybody visiting Park Metropolis, the Rail Path bike tour, placed on by Unique Excursions is an nice option to discover the world by bike. It’s an excellent simple bike journey, which makes it excellent for cyclists with little to no expertise, and at simply $75 for adults and $60 for kids ($40 when you convey your individual bike), the worth can’t be beat!
For extra data on Unique Excursions, the Rail Path Bike Tour, and different providers offered by Jeff Manwaring and his unbelievable native tour firm, please go to: www.exclusiveexcursions.web
To view extra images from my bike tour with Unique Excursions, please go to my Flickr web page.