Mill Creek Parkway
Running through the heart of Moab is a pretty little creek that starts high in the La Sal Mountains. Mill Creek tumbles and twists down through the mountains and flows into Moab proper. Once in Moab, it winds its way through town toward the Colorado River. Funds from several sources have helped Moab to develop the Mill Creek Parkway, a quiet recreational path and trail system designed for bicycles, walkers, rollerblades, or other non-motorized methods of transportation. While the City of Moab has been the impetus behind much of the progress on Mill Creek Parkway, the project has been a true community effort with a variety of organizations and individuals contributing time, money and work. June 4, 1999, marked the dedication of the parkway and it is already the destination of many visitors to Moab, and, of course, local residents.
Locals use the trail system for shortcuts to work or on evening walks, for shady jogging or family bicycle outings. Benches situated on the banks of the creek provide a shady, quiet respite from the desert sun. On the banks of Mill Creek, it's easy to forget it's 100 degrees and you are surrounded by red rock walls. The parkway is currently two miles long and triples in size when you count all its connector trails and its connection to the Pack Creek Parkway. The trail follows the creek in the shade of Fremont cottonwoods, hackberry, silver leaf poplars, catalpas, Russian olives and other shade trees. It's a great bird watching corridor with many birds that frequent riparian areas washing in the creek and singing overhead.
You can enter the trail at many different points throughout Moab. Once on the trail, you can explore the creek from both directions. Several side spurs allow you to walk nearer the creek and at times you forget you are in the city at all. The path and trail system goes by the Bark Park (dog park), the Grand County Middle School and High School. It also goes through the Youth Garden Project near the 400 East Underpass. The trail also goes through Rotary Park, a shady, quiet glen equipped with grills, picnic tables and shelters, as well as a children's playground complete with giant xylophones locally known as "freenotes." Several instruments allow visitors to create their own music in the shady grove. Beyond the musical playground is a gazebo surrounded by a luscious native flower bed and from there a new basketball/pickleball court and amphitheater. A new section of path was recently installed to the new Mill Creek Village subdivision near Power House Lane. All signs indicate the parkway will just keep getting better and better. Enjoy your walk, ride, or roll (under your own power, of course) along Mill Creek Parkway.
Friends of the Parkway
A local nonprofit organization, Moab Solutions, started the group Friends of the Parkway in August 2004 in partnership with the City of Moab with the goal of recruiting local groups to remove recycling and trash from small sections of the trail and the creek and report any issues found along the parkway and its spur trails. Read about Friends of the Parkway here.