Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lower Farmington Creek

The Lower Farmington Creek Trail is a great trail in Farmington that goes from the Davis County Fairground, up to the mouth of Farmington Canyon, where it continues up the canyon. The lower section is also known as The Lagoon Trail, in fact it even has signage for both names. Although, from what I can tell, the Lagoon Trail is only the section that is next to the park. It is one of those paved, generally flat trails that follows a stream through a city, but so far I think it is my favorite. It goes through some old growth forest, there are some neat bridges (including a small covered pedestrian bridge), and a nice pond to enjoy. I’m not sure how enjoyable the trail would be when Lagoon is open, but it was a great winter trail. There are multiple trailheads, we used the one at Ezra T Clark Park.

I am probably being overly cautious but I am still avoiding the mountains due to more and more avalanches being reported. I don’t own any avalanche safety gear so, I think it’s just better to avoid the chance. So, due to that we have been exploring a lot of the river trails down in the valleys. I would normally skip these trails in favor of mountain hikes, so it’s been kind of nice to finally explore them.


Neat old bridge along the trail


Farmington Pond

Quick Details:

Length: From the Ezra T Clark TH to Farmington Pond: about 1.5 miles. We continued up to the mouth of the canyon and added an additional .3 mile. Looks like if you add the lower section from the fairground that will add another half mile or so.
Difficulty: DR2 from the park to the pond.
Elevation Gain: about 110 feet to the pond. an additional 150 or so up to the mouth of the canyon.
Restroom: There is one at the pond, but it was closed for the season.
Dogs? Yes, leashed. There are even clean up stations.
Other Info: You can make this a loop by returning on one of the Historic Trails. But, that appears to be along the roads. We might check out that loop itself one day.

To get here, take i15 towards Farmington take exit 322 keep left at the fork to head towards Lagoon. Turn right onto 400 W (this is just before Lagoon, and the campground). Turn right onto State St. Turn right into Ezra T Clark Park. 400 W State St.



Ezra T Clark Park is tiny. It consists of this gazebo, and this historical information plaque. The general gist is he ended his pilgrimage and settled his home near here and was a strong leader at the time integral in settling Farmington and much of Davis County.


Nice paved trail.


The trail does continue west by crossing over the freeway towards the Davis County Fairgrounds. So, this short section has a lot of freeway noise. However we are going east and slowly away from it.


Farmington Creek.


You start out next to the Lagoon Campground. I have always lived within an hour of Lagoon and never saw a need to camp when we went. Not to mention when I think of camping this is not really my style..



The trail does have some nice views of the mountains though. Farmington Canyon is a little further north, I think this is Steed Canyon. We tried doing that one once and didn’t get very far due to the creek being too high.


Kind of weird to see Lagoon from this angle.


The first of several bridges over Farmington Creek.


The creek itself. Unlike some of the other stream walkways, this on does not offer continual views of the creek.


And what appears to be the start of the Lagoon Trail. It says funded and constructed by Lagoon Inc. So, hey, thanks for that.


Another trail sign.


Old shack.


Another one.



This section of the trail goes by the Farmington Zoo and you can see elk and bison. While I enjoy seeing wildlife, I am still not sure how I feel about zoo’s in general. I will say, I much prefer to see them in the wild.

Random useless fact: The buffalo are the only animals you can’t see from the Wild Kingdom Train, or anywhere else within the park and are actually only visible from here.


Gnarly old tree. Wow.


You can see through it!


Entering an old forest section.


The elk again. Look at the rack on that guy!


There were actually quite a few picnic tables and benches along the trail. Might be a nice place to have a picnic.


Wow! Now that is a tree fort!


Rattlesnake Rapids.


Tiny pedestrian covered bridge. I have yet to find a covered bridge in Utah that was ever meant for cars, but we have seen a couple pedestrian covered bridges. Lets see, the Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail, Midway, and oh I know there is another one or two that we have seen.


Although this one is not over a stream, rather it is over a Lagoon maintenance road.


Here it is from the other side, where you can see both trail name signs.


From here the trail just seems to stop. I was pretty sure that those stairs were for that persons house, and not the trail. Crap. I ended up having to pull out my phone and consult google maps to figure out where to go. You will turn left and follow the road for a tenth of a mile or so, and pick the trail up again on the right. Don’t worry, not only is it signed, but the road comes to an end, so you won’t miss it.


Said dead end. This is actually one of the other trail heads located at 85 N 200 W. And you can skip most of the Lagoon section using it.


Picking up the trail again. And, again, both trail names are being used here. I think this is my favorite stretch of the trail.


Nice old forest.


Bridge #3, 2nd one over the creek.



And only about 20 feet further, the trail curves back around to bridge #4, 3rd over the creek. This looks like an old railroad truss bridge. Which left us wondering if Lagoon’s train system extended out this way at one time, or if maybe this was the original old railway that delivered people to Lagoon.

I was able to confirm there was an old railroad on this side of the park. I also learned there was once a narrow gauge railroad around Pioneer Village  that was decommissioned when Lagoon A Beach opened. The still existing Wild Kingdon Train is also a narrow gauge railroad. This seems to be the likely explanation, but I don’t know for sure. It could be something else entirely, but I do like the old style bridge.


The creek from the bridge.


And through the woods. Like I said, this was the best part of the trail.


Trail marker.


Another picnic area.


Here there is a trail split to another trailhead. This one is located at 400 N 200 W. Keep right to continue to Farmington Pond. I think this is the end of The Lagoon Trail as well.


Even in the dead of winter I am enjoying this old forest.


There are quite a few old, big trees along the way.


Someone carved a chair into this fallen log.


The underpass the previous trail marker mentioned. It was dry and useable. This means you are really close to the pond.


Not a fan of graffiti, but this is cute.


On the other side of the underpass.


And again we weren’t sure where to go. I was pulling out the phone to consult the map again when Landis noticed the sign that said ‘Ice Fishing at your own risk’. We figured that meant the pond was that way.


Old weathered sign made me giggle.


Wider path. This short segment is where you gain the most elevation.


The dam for Farmington Pond.


Where the side spillway comes out.


And Farmington Pond. Whew we made it. This is a popular fishing spot, in fact we have fished here before.


Great view of the mountains.


View from the fishing dock. There were quite a few people fishing here today, but the pond is frozen here so none of them were using it.


At the east end looking towards the dam. Much less frozen near the inlet.



Where the creek enters the pond. My original idea was to circumnavigate the pond and return to where we parked. We probably could have crossed without an issue, but opted not to have cold squishy feet for the return trip.


Lots of fishers.


Lots of loud geese.

FYI there is parking at the pond as well. You can access it from 750 N 75 W.


We decided to keep going up. This is the steepest section oi.


The mountains are looking pretty.


Looking into Farmington Canyon.


The creek making its way down the mountain.


There is another parking lot up here in case you want to skip the easy paved city trail and just head into the canyon.


Another bridge.


View downstream.


Neat little ice ball clump.


I love the neat formations of ice over streams.


Bird nest in a funky tree.

Well we were having fun exploring but decided to call it a day and head on back.


Back down to Farmington Pond.


Back down into the old forest. You can see you aren’t too far from the houses, but it is still a nice path.


Back down to the truss bridge.


I really like this bridge.


And the bridge below it.


Back to the short section of road to reconnect to the trail. It is before the next cross street on the right, so it is not hard to find.


The cute little pedestrian covered bridge.

I don’t remember where I heard about The Rock Chapel; I tend to follow interesting landmarks and unique destination blogs and websites. Anyway, it was something I wanted to see, and we considered returning via the historic route just to see it. But, we opted to stay on the pedestrian trail rather than walk down the street. However, I knew it was near here. So after consulting the map really quick we learned it was only about 2 minutes away. So, up to main street we went.


It.. it looks like your standard cookie cutter Mormon Church.

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Okay, the original wing looks kind of neat. The original building was built in 1863. It is one of the state’s oldest churches still in use. The additional wings on either side of it were built in 1941 and 1980. The additions almost ruin it as far as I am concerned, but the church isn’t really known for preserving historical architecture. *Cough, Ogden Temple. Cough*. At least it appears the main original building is pretty close to its original structure.

Located at 272 N Main if you want to find it.

I am sure there are other interesting historical stuff to see on the Historic Trail, and it’s something we like to do so we’ll probably check it out someday, but today was not the day. We returned to the Farmington Creek Trail.


Better shot of Rattle Snake Rapids. I feel like I am getting too old for Lagoon, but when I do go (almost always due to some work event) this is one of my favorite rides.


Back down to the zoo section. I think it is kind of interesting that the females are certainly watching us the entire time, the male doesn’t seem to care.


I really like this old tree! (same hallow one from the beginning).


Buffalo butt!


Down to the first bridge.


The water is very clear.

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Well we did finally see some actual wild wildlife today. Although, with them being on the farm property behind the fence it’s similar to looking at them in a zoo. Hah. I find deer in the weirdest places sometimes.


Back down to the campground and nearing the front of the park.


One last look at the creek.

Well, even though most of the trail had Lagoon Amusement Park on one side, and houses and farms on the other side, I oddly still really enjoyed it! I think I enjoyed the old growth woods, and of course having a pond to visit makes it’s a nice adventure as well. As I mentioned, I’m not sure if I would want to do it when the park is open and going, unless I one day found myself camping here. But, it was a nice adventure, and the little bit of elevation did give us a good workout. Going with 9 out 10 squirrels as far as winter trails go.

squirrels 9

As for difficulty, It’s paved and mostly flat. Most of the elevation is around the pond. If the pond is the destination I would say DR2 still covers it. If you decided to continue past the pond it gets a bit steeper and more difficult.

Dogs are allowed! And they even have quite a few doggy cleanup stations! Be sure to clean up after your furry friends.

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