Mantua OHV Trails – A Close Place to Get High on an OHV
Fifth in a series of off-highway vehicle (OHV) articles by Lynn Blamires feature writer for My Local Utah
The Mantua OHV Trails exist as proof that you don’t have to drive long distances to enjoy a ride in the backcountry. I offer information on these trails in a continuing series of places to ride for new OHV drivers.
There are a lot of reasons I think these trails are so fun. Here are some to consider:
The Name – Mantua
The town was settled by people from Denmark. So, a name that looks easy to pronounce becomes a way to determine if a person is from out of state. If they pronounce it with a “t” sound and a short “a” sound, they ain’t local.
Box Elder Campground
This campground is southwest of town. It is a beautiful place to extend your OHV trip for more than a day. Campers can ride for the day and then enjoy some outdoor cooking, time around a campfire, a night under the stars, and then another day of riding. As long as your machine is registered in Utah and you have the new OHV Education Certificate, you can ride right out of the campground and onto the trails.
I like to stop for breakfast when I go out on a ride and Mantua has one of the best places to have breakfast or lunch. You will have to go back to your campfire for dinner because they close at three in the afternoon. Walking into this place, you feel a little bit country when you leave. The ambiance is country, and the staff is top-notch and personable.
Here is the real reason for going to Mantua – the rest just adds purpose to the trip. The Mantua Trails have three designated trail widths – 50”, 60”, and open.
Coming into Mantua from Brigham City, the road comes to a “T” with the Willard Peak Road. Turn right, you will find good places to unload about 2.6 miles up this road at Dock Flats.
It will wind up the mountain offering breaks in the foliage with beautiful views of Pine View Reservoir. The mountain scenery on this trail is very peaceful.
The trail tops out at a wide area with a sign that explains some history of the terracing work that was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. Spring runoff was causing problems in the valley every year around Willard and Perry. The work they did successfully prevented soil erosion by retaining 75 percent of the water that fell in the form of snow and rain during the winter months.
Following this trail south will take you down into a bowl where the remnants of one of the CCC camps can be seen. The trail then climbs out of the bowl and to an open area with a view that is breathtaking. You can see all the way to the big smokestack at Kennecott. This is fun to do at night because the lights of the city are even more spectacular.
Another option on these trails is a fork in the road back down lower. The left fork goes down by some ponds where you will see some good examples of beaver activity. The first pond features a beaver lodge. The way the sticks are placed to dam the water is unmistakably cut by a beaver. You can see beaver-cut trees all along the trail.
The ride along this beaver trail goes to a point where the trail has a 60” restriction. It has seasonal closures because of the snowpack. This trail also has some places that can get pretty muddy. It goes over the top and drops down onto Paradise Road and then into Liberty and Eden. If you are street-legal, it is fun to go to town for lunch. You can also take Paradise Road to the left and make a loop that will bring you back into Mantua on the north side.
Go to the point where the road forks, turn, and face north. Turn off the road to the right before the curve. This is the top end of a 50” trail that winds down and comes out at Dock Flats. It is only about a 30-minute ride, but it is through the dark, beautiful woods, and lots of fun.
These are the Mantua Trails and I am glad to have them so close. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and say “Manaway.”