A Balance Of Health and Beauty on the Helper Parkway
The Helper Parkway is a unique part of Carbon County and in reality a unique part of any rural landscape.
Parkways are common in many big cities; Salt Lake has the Jordan River Parkway, Austin, Texas has the Riverwalk, Milwaukee, Wis. has the Great Lakes Walkway, and many other cities have places for people to stroll, ride bikes, rollerskate and just enjoy the sun and shade on a beautiful day.
But rural areas generally do not develop "parkways" particularly in the west because there is so much open space; so many places to hike and bike.
The Helper Parkway, situated along the Price River, presently stretches for over a mile with highlights on everything from nature to the human history of the area.
There are places with rocks to sit on by the river and to lay on the grass. There is a sand play area for kids, and a pavilion for picnics. On one end is a large as life history of the coal mining industry with it's display of monster coal extraction equipment.
On the other end is a nature trail that loops through river rock falls and pink flowering trees, ending in a loop to turn around and go the other way.
The views and the sights are grand, with the sound of the ever present river always dominating the scene. In some places it seems the path winds through what could be a large forest, while in others an urban scene appears with the backs of old buildings and foundations lining the river banks across the way from the asphalt paved path.
It's hard to imagine that not that many years ago this area was filled with trash in some places and just a small path running along the river.
But with vision the people of Helper, and many citizens of the county as well, built this parkway, with sweat, donated materials and hard earned grants.
Agencies involved included just about everyone in the area. Businesses donated materials, volunteers, time and county agencies, expertise and support.
Today, even at the lowest times of use, one who walks along the paths will find at least one other person there. The parkway acts as a place for people to go to reflect, exercise or just enjoy the outdoors without having to climb up rocky canyons or take a ride to do it.
It is many things to many people, but to runners and bicyclists it is a place they can go to do their thing without fear of running into motorized vehicles.
The path is also marked with marker delineating distances which is helpful to anyone exercising by running or walking.
The entire system meets the needs of the Helper community in many ways. And obviously it is not restricted only to those residents, but to the public in general.
Just another unique feature of the place we call Castle Country!