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Trail Happenings October 2011

Mill Creek Parkway
by Sara Melnicoff

Mill Creek Parkway, which winds through the center of Moab, provides joy and adventure for visitors and residents alike. The Parkway follows Mill Creek, and in one small area, Pack Creek, as these streams make their way down from the mountains through town and into the Colorado River. The best way to get to know the parkway is simply to explore it either by slowly riding a bike, walking or even roller blading. Pick an entrance (see adjoining map) or just go down the steps from Main Street and see where it takes you. It could be to Rotary Park on the east end, with it’s welcoming shade, sheltered picnic areas, playground equipment and large scale outdoor musical instruments. Or you might end up on the rustic path between 100 West and 500 West, where the sounds of the water flowing over rocks and around bends, blended with bird songs and leaves whispering in the wind, conspire to make you forget you are in a city. The Museum of Moab added even more interest to the parkway by creating an outdoor museum with its collection of antique mining and farming equipment. There are interesting items at points along the trail along with interpretive text to help you figure out just what that big contraption is. You might see ore cars, “one-man muckers,” threshers, or other vintage equipment.

Local residents use the trail system for shortcuts to work or on evening walks, for shady jogging or family bicycle or stroller outings. Benches situated on the banks of the creek provide a quiet respite from the desert sun. On the banks of Mill Creek, it’s easy to forget that the red rock walls of Moab can register 100 degrees, since it is green and shady all the time.

The Parkway has been a true community effort with a variety of organizations and individuals contributing time, money and work. Much of the planning came about as a result of needing to upgrade the flood control along Mill Creek. Visions for the parkway began as long ago as 1968 and it is a lovely addition to downtown Moab and neighboring residential areas. June 4, 1999, marked the dedication of the first mile of parkway. Constantly growing and changing, the original one mile of parkway is now over 5 miles (including spur trails). To learn more about the formation of the parkway, please google “mill creek parkway moab”.

Keeping this Parkway clean of storm debris and wandering pieces of paper could be a full time job, however “Friends of the Parkway” exists for that very purpose. Many groups and individuals have adopted small sections of the parkway. Trash cans and recycle bins are located along the parkway and make clean up a snap. There are signs at various points along the parkway listing some of these adoptees and explaining the Friends of the Parkway program. This program was begun by The Solutions of Moab, a group of dedicated volunteers who remove litter (including recyclable trash) from the streams, the trails, and along the roadsides of this beautiful region.

About the author: Sara Melnicoff is an active member of Trail Mix and the founder of both Solutions of Moab and the Friends of the Parkway. Sara is passionate about protecting the earth and treading lightly and is involved in numerous restoration and clean up projects. She has organized a recycle program at the high school and at various businesses. Sara also has encouraged the homeless in Moab to participate in a Partners Program to help with various “green” projects. If you are interested in more ideas on recycling, earth protection, and opportunities and concerns about the homeless contact Sara at or call 259-0910.

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