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Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Receives Grant to Expand Recreational Opportunities


WASHINGTON – In an effort to improve off-highway vehicle (OHV) and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trail access in America’s national parks, the National Park Foundation is supporting critical trail infrastructure improvements within the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area (MPNHA).

The National Park Foundation received a Polaris Foundation grant to help expand access to MPNHA by enhancing the Arapeen OHV Trail System in Manti-LaSal National Forest in Utah. Improvements begin in the summer of 2017 and will include the addition of a two-inch minus road base to the upper 6.6 miles of Manti Canyon, Forest Road 0045, from the intersection of North Fork all the way to Skyline Drive (Arapeen OHV Trail #1).

“The Arapeen OHV Trail System is one of Utah’s great high-mountain trails. It is open to side by sides, ATVs, 4x4 vehicles and motorcycles. The best time to ride is July through September,” said Kevin Christensen, Sanpete County Economic Development Director.

Since 1998, the number of OHVs registered in Utah has nearly tripled, putting additional pressure on Utah’s public lands, especially in popular riding areas. With OHV use increasing and continued growth in the ATV market, trail managers are challenged to keep up with the maintenance and improvements needed to provide a quality experience. Ongoing maintenance is required due to high use, along with the topography and terrain changes on these routes.

The Polaris Foundation donation contributed to the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks and will address these trail infrastructure needs to ensure that MPNHA continues to provide a safe, fun, and accessible recreational experience for ATV and OHV riders.

“Taking in the sights of our national parks on an off-highway or all-terrain vehicle is a truly incredible experience,” said Stacy Bogart, Senior Vice President of Polaris Industries and President of the Polaris Foundation. “It is our honor to make this donation in support of the Arapeen Trail System, to encourage the responsible use of OHV trails while helping current and future riders discover the beauty of our nation’s parks.”

Many of the more than 100,000 yearly visitors to nearby Palisade State Park, located at the mouth of the canyon just to the south, enjoy OHV riding. There are more than 170,000 ATVs, side by sides, and motorcycle enthusiasts in Utah who find that off-roading is a great way to spend time with family and friends while enjoying the outdoors.

“On behalf of all of our partners in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, we express our deep appreciation for this generous gift. We are very proud to be associated with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and Polaris,” MPNHA Director Monte Bona said.

Other Arapeen Trail System projects completed or underway include work on Trails #: 4- Mt. Pleasant Canyon; #42- Ephraim New Canyon; #35- Sterling 6-Mile Canyon; #37- Manti Canyon. In addition to these trail improvement projects, the trail system is also investing in new facilities, adding a trailside restroom along Trail #35.

The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) is a global powersports leader that has been fueling the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts for more than 60 years. With annual 2016 sales of $4.5 billion, Polaris’ innovative, high-quality product line-up includes the RANGER®, RZR® and Polaris GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; the Sportsman® and Polaris ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; Indian Motorcycle® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; Slingshot® moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, Switchback® and RUSH® snowmobiles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories, along with a growing aftermarket portfolio, including Transamerican Auto Parts. Polaris’ presence in adjacent markets globally include military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. Proudly headquartered in Minnesota, Polaris serves more than 100 countries across the globe. Visit for more information.

The Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area is a federally designated area of central and southern Utah running along the beautiful and historic U.S. Highway 89 — including the All-American Road Utah State Route 12, and Capitol Reef Scenic Byway Utah State Route 24, which both intersect with U.S. 89 and together form the MPNHA’s Boulder Loop. The area includes the counties of Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane.

National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. Through their resources, NHAs tell nationally important stories that celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage. Because NHAs are lived-in landscapes and are locally coordinated, NHAs bring together communities to determine how to make heritage relevant to local interests, needs and economies. The National Heritage Areas program is coordinated by the National Park Service.


Linda Petersen
Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area
[email protected]

Alanna Sobel
National Park Foundation
[email protected]