The Jordan River flows over 50 miles from Utah Lake north to the Great Salt Lake wetlands. The water in the Jordan River comes from its headwaters at Utah Lake and the many springs and mountain tributaries that feed the river throughout its corridor. The river flows through three counties – Utah, Salt Lake and Davis – and 15 cities. This region, called the Wasatch Front, is classified as urban and is where more than 80 percent of Utah’s three million residents live and work.

Through the decades many planning and analysis reports have been prepared for the Jordan River and specific segments of the river corridor. See Jordan River Commission library. The Jordan River Parkway was conceived in 1971 primarily as a flood-control measure, but restoration of the floodplain, cleanup of pollution, adding trails and other recreational opportunities were also to be included. In 2008 The Blueprint Jordan River was published and is the first comprehensive effort to develop a publicly supported vision for the future of the entire Jordan River corridor and an implementation plan to turn the parkway into a defining amenity for our region.

The Jordan River has also gained national attention. In 2003 Scenic America, a national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to preserving and enhancing the visual character of America's communities and countryside, named the Jordan River Corridor as one of ten Last Chance Landscapes. Each Last Chance Landscape is a place of beauty or distinctive community character chosen because it faces imminent and potentially irrevocable harm. However, each of the winners also possesses a potential solution, a "last chance" for people at the local, state and national levels to step forward and preserve their scenic beauty before it's too late.

The Department of the Interior, in its 2011 America’s Great Outdoors 50-State Report listed completing the Jordan River Parkway as one of its goals. The Department of the Interior and other federal agencies are to partner with state and local governments and other stakeholders on this shared conservation and recreation agenda.

For over 36 years, the Jordan River Foundation, along with various government entities and other organizations, has worked to develop and maintain the Jordan River Parkway. The Jordan River Parkway is an approximately 45-mile urban park that runs along the Jordan River within the State of Utah. The majority of a mixed-use trail has been completed with a shared-use path for cyclists, skaters, and joggers. A separate equestrian path runs on the southern portion of the trail. Numerous amenities of trail-heads, public parks, nature/wildlife preserves, golf courses, benches, grassy areas, picnic tables, pavilions, restrooms, playgrounds, parking lots, canoe docks, off highway vehicle (OHV) area, model plane ports, and equestrian areas can be found along the trail.

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