The Gailey Trail is a surprisingly beautiful trail that follows along Bair Creek in Fruit Heights Utah. It is a a short very shaded trail in a gulley between a golf course and some houses. You do see some of the houses along the way, but for the most part it is a beautiful forest trail that is fairly flat. I have seen it referred to as The Bair Creek Nature Trail, Bair Creek Trail, The Nicholls Park Trail, Castle Park and a couple other things as there is no trail sign. However I found the city of Fruit Heights refers to it as the Gailey Trail at Nicholls Park so I will go with that.
I wanted 3 things today. Short, shady, and access to a creek. I got 2.5 of those as unfortunately the creek was dry today. But, it was still surprisingly beautiful so we ventured on.
Length: The full thing is about a 2 mile semi loop. We did 1.7 miles and I used google maps measure distance to calculate the rest.
Difficulty: DR3 wide wood chipped trail with minimal elevation gain.
Elevation Gain: 90 feet.
Restroom: At Nicholls Park
Dogs? Yes. Please clean up after your furry friends.
To Get Here:
Take highway 89 in Fruit Heights to Nicholls Rd and turn west. Go approximately 100 yeards and you will see a park on the right with a large parking lot. There are additional trailheads, including one at Main St and Nicholls road as well.
The playground at Nicholls Park aka Castle Park, I guess I can see why.
There is a trail down into the gulley between the restrooms and the pavilions to the west of the playground.
And down in the gulley you are transported into a beautiful forest!
Unfortunately the creek is dried up. But I like the little bridges they have down here.
Even with no running water it nice and cool down here.
Looking up the dry creek bed.
A couple more shots of the woods.
And end of the line. I don’t think the trail continues across the street, but we didn’t go investigate either.
The trailhead on Nicholls Rd. and Main has dog waste bags if you need one. The website fully states if people do not clean up after their dogs, they will ban them.
Making our way back.
Random berries. Look kind of like grapes, but I still wasn’t going to try one.
I think I found a fox den. I wanted to get a closer look, but also didn’t want an angry fox biting my face off either so here is what I got.
Wicked looking plant.
The foliage is very thick through most of the trail.
I added this one just to show that some of the houses back yards show along the trail. Not a whole lot of them though, but a few. So, while I was surprised at how wild and beautiful the trail was, there are a few parts that remind you that you are in the middle of a city.
Back to the first bridge. I do really like these bridges.
As much as I wanted to explore the short section east of where we entered the dogs were getting too warm. Not having a creek to wade in, as I had planned, was getting to them. So we decided to call it a day.
Even without the creek flowing, I enjoyed this trail more than I thought it would. It is one of those between the neighborhood trails, but it was really nice actually. And not a whole lot of people today. However, I think I would really enjoy it a lot more if the creek was running. I’m not sure when it dries up, but maybe plan this one before May, or early June to really enjoy it. Removing 1 squirrel for dry creek, and 1 for lack of signage.
As for difficulty, the only elevation gain I noticed was climbing out of the gulley to get back to the park. This can be avoided by parking at the other parking lot on Main and Nicholls Rd. Other wise it' feels generally flat with slight gain. The trail is wide and switches between hard packed earth and wood chips. DR3.
Dogs are allowed but that could change. Help keep dogs on this trail by cleaning up after your furry friends.