Lagoon Trail

Built: 1993-98
Completed: 14 Nov 1998
Trail Length: 1.3 miles

Lagoon Lane was a public road that had been around since the very early days of Lagoon. For several decades it ran west from Main Street, turned north near the old Bamberger Railroad station and turned west again after about 100 yards to cross the tracks. From there it continued west between the north boundary of the park and the Race Track.

When Lagoon expanded northward in the 1960s, the road was re-routed to the north after the point where it crossed the tracks. That 1965 park expansion included the Bamberger Fountain and Lagoon’s first wooden Wild Mouse (about where the north Sky Ride station is now).

Original Lagoon Lane alignment (white dashed line), compared with the 1960s realignment (blue) and current remnant roads (grey).

In the late 1980s Lagoon was looking to expand again, this time to the east. But the land they had acquired was on the other side of Lagoon Lane. The road didn’t have much traffic aside from the few who lived on the road and by locals using Lagoon’s old east entrance. Construction of Lagoon-A-Beach in the old Swimming Pool area began in 1987 and cut off circulation to the north end of Pioneer Village, making it a dead end.

So Lagoon officials proposed the idea of closing a portion of the road to Farmington’s city council. The area where the property met residential areas would be used as a buffer zone between homes and the park. At first, some of the possibilities discussed for the park’s expansion included public use areas with soccer and baseball fields, a mine train coaster and an additional space for Lagoon-A-Beach.

The planning commission didn’t agree with the idea of closing the road when it was first discussed in 1989, but Lagoon kept working on a plan that could benefit the park and the city. By 1991, the plan included a public pond and jogging path as well as public pavilions. Sports facilities were apparently conditional upon whether or not the city could help with funding.

A city council meeting in February 1991 consisted of two hours of public comment about the issue, from people “equally divided” in their opinion. Those against the changes feared that noisy amusement rides would be installed closer and closer to their homes until they reached Main Street. One of the stronger comments in favor of the changes was from a former councilman who said the plan fit in with their earlier vision of open space for the city and a mountain-to-shore jogging / biking path.

An agreement was finally made in fall 1991 to close the road but plans for the park expansion were rejected in December until illustrated plans could be presented. Then ride heights would have to be discussed.

Lagoon Trail Phases 1 & 2, as planned in 1992.

Drawings were submitted in 1992 and eventually Farmington and Lagoon settled on a trade that would cut Lagoon Lane into two shorter roads ending in cul-de-sacs. In exchange for the 1.1 acres of land the road occupied, Lagoon would build a public recreational trail that would tie into the larger Farmington Creek trail system that was planned to eventually connect Farmington Canyon to the Great Salt Lake shorelands. It was initally estimated to cost Lagoon $250,000 to create the public areas, but by the time the trail was completed, the cost ended up to be $750,000.

Phase 1 of the Lagoon Trail began in 1993, connecting the two cul-de-sacs created after the closure of Lagoon Lane. Phase 2 extended the trail northward to connect to the city’s trail leading up to Farmington Pond.

Phase 3 was the portion going south from 3rd North, past Rattlesnake Rapids and continuing west to the front of the Lagoon Campground. This portion had the most design changes since 1992 and wasn’t completed until well after Rattlesnake Rapids opened.

Lagoon Trail Phase 3, as planned in 1992.

Phase 1 originally had a concrete walkway along the west bank of Farmington Creek. It’s unclear when it was constructed or when it was cut off, but it’s located just within the park boundaries and was altered on the south end when bridges were added across the creek. The bridges were relocated from downstream where they had been used for the Pioneer Village Railroad.

Original trail along the west bank of Farmington Creek. Photo: B. Miskin

After passing the buffalo pens and the electrical substation, the trail goes up to North 200 West and the former railbed of the Bamberger Railway. Part of the retaining wall constructed for the railroad is still visible near this point. From there the trail follows the south side of the Lagoon RV Park & Campground. The city’s Farmington Creek Trail connects across the street at the small Ezra T. Clark Park and then on toward the shorelands by way of the pedestrian bridge over I-15.

A covered bridge crosses over an employee access road to the park's greenhouse. Photo: B. Miskin
A covered bridge crosses over an employee access road to the park’s greenhouse. Photo: B. Miskin

The final portion of the Lagoon Trail officially opened after a ribbon cutting ceremony on a Saturday morning in November 1998.

The closed portion of Lagoon Lane was simply turned into a wide walkway that still serves many of the new picnic areas and doubles as a service road when the park is closed and an access road for emergency vehicles.

The trail is open to the public year-round and maintained by the city and Lagoon.

In December 2011, hurricane-force winds ripped through Davis County and didn’t let up for almost two days. The windstorm caused millions of dollars in damage, much of it involving trees. The Lagoon Trail, being in a wooded area, was a mess of toppled trees and broken limbs. The video below shows conditions along the trail from the following spring.

Cleanup went on for several months. Lagoon and the city did what they could as time permitted, but the big push came from a city service day in April 2012 when 65 loads of debris were hauled away.

The other portions of the Farmington Creek Trail have extended the system as envisioned and it has proven to be a valuable amenity for the Farmington residents and visitors.


Rosebrock, Don. Farmington to discuss Lagoon petition. Deseret News, 18 Apr 1989.

Rosebrock, Don. Lagoon resubmits rezoning plea. Deseret News, 7 Aug 1989

Rosebrock, Don. Lagoon seeks to use street in Farmington for expansion. Deseret News, 22 Jan 1991.

Rosebrock, Don. Proposal to shut Lagoon Lane tabled. Deseret News, 8 Feb 1991.

Arave, Lynn. Farmington approves partial road closure to let Lagoon expand. Deseret News, 25 Oct 1991.

Council rejects Lagoon’s bid for expansion. The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Dec 1991.

Peterson, Jennifer. $75,000 for Farmington Pond. Davis County Clipper, 4 Feb 1992.

Eddington, Mark. Lagoon may ascend to new heights. Davis County Clipper, 10 Mar 1992.

Eddington, Mark. Lagoon zooms into future as new master plan OK’d. Davis County Clipper, 24 Mar 1992.

Swensen, Jason N. Davis County is paving way for walkers. Deseret News, 19 Jun 1993.

Lagoon’s portion of nature trail to open Saturday. Deseret News, 11 Nov 1998.

Arave, Lynn. Hikers and bikers can have fun on Lagoon Trail. Deseret News, 9 Dec 1998.

O’Donoghue, Amy Joi. Remember the winds of 2011. Deseret News, 30 Nov 2012.

Farmington City Council Meeting minutes. Farmington.Utah.Gov, 6 Mar 2012.

Farmington City Council Meeting minutes. Farmington.Utah.Gov, 17 Apr 2012.

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