Friday, June 24, 2016

The Outskirts Of Town: Fillmore, UT

Photo courtesy of Pam Rowley
  If you've traveled Interstate 15 through central Utah you've passed through the little community of Fillmore. You may have even stopped there for gas or a quick snack. It's a quiet town with plenty of space and a little history.
  In today's crowded and busy lifestyle it's probably hard to believe that this community was once the capital of the Utah Territory from 1851-56. Of course some things never change and the sleepy little town wasn't quite up to par with what the Territory needed to make it as the capital so they moved it to the more populous Salt Lake City. The Utah Territorial State house still stands today as a reminder of to Fillmore's deep historic roots.
  What some people may not know is that Fillmore is an access point to the one of the most popular ATV/UTV trail systems in the country, the Paiute Trail. This well marked and mapped trail system accesses over 2000 miles of dirt roads (not a typo) and travels through four counties. Because of the ease of access from town, Fillmore is a natural fit for an ATV Jamboree and they have a popular one. The National ATV Jamboree invites participants to explore the trails with other like minded folks and a trail guide to help keep getting lost to a minimum (I'm not going to dare say that people haven't gotten lost before, I've seen too much.)
Map Check! Photo: Teressa Rich
   Fillmore, like many other rural Utah towns, is ATV friendly. What does that mean? Well they embrace ATV's and UTV's and allow them to travel the city streets. Of course there are roads you can't travel on and you need to follow all of the speed limits, street signage, and rules of the road as if you were in a car but that's just common sense. If you're a little rusty on your hand signals then I'll suggest you look into the purchase of a street legal kit for your ride. Adding turn signals, a horn and brake light if needed allows you to street register your vehicle for street operation but this isn't a requirement in this smaller towns as of yet. So respect the road if you're their people. The ability to drive on the streets allows you to easily access the trail system from either a camp spot, or one of the hotels in town and you won't be the only filthy ATV rider to enjoy an afternoon milkshake at Larry's Drive In.
Courtesy of Teressa Rich
  The trails for the most part are pretty easy in this area allowing for more scenic and leisurely trail rides. The clean air is a fresh change of pace and being surrounded by acres of trees seems to have an odd but homey feeling that reaches deep into our suppressed natural instincts of wanting to be untamed and free.
  Deer frequent the forest and if you're lucky you'll come across some of the wild turkey's that pop up here and there. I never get used to seeing them especially when they're standing right in the road, usually around a blind corner. If only it were that easy during hunting season.
  One of my favorite trails in this area takes you up a small creek nestled in a narrow canyon with tall trees surrounding you on both sides. It's not a very long road but the environment is so much fun that you may just turn around and head back down. Warning: This trail is only for vehicles 50" or smaller. They take this very serious and I can promise you that there is a citation in your future if you're caught. If you can get past their gate keeper rocks at the trail heads that is. Also pay attention to the water levels in this canyon. During the spring the water can be deep and you may just find that ATV's don't do well as canoes.
Courtesy:Pam Rowley
  So there's a quick rundown on what you can find in Utah's rural back country. The best part is that this isn't the only small town of it's kind. Richfield and Mayfield also provide access to a plethora of off road exploration opportunities that you should take advantage of. So next time you stop for a fill up in one of our little towns don't be afraid to ask the locals a few questions about the area. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you've been missing.
  Stay safe this weekend peoples! See you next week.


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