The great outdoors is a place for people to get away from it all. It is a place to experience the natural flows of nature. To hear birds rustling in the bushes.
To witness a family of deer cascading along the hillside. It’s where the mind wanders to places it needs to, whether it’s to let go of fear or anger or to feel appreciation for all the joys and sorrows of life.
Payson Canyon’s Four Bay trail system offers all of those things for visitors both in nature and in purpose. Each of the trails are named for people who have made a mark on the lives of those who frequent the park — many of them for loved ones lost.
Recently, trail creators, along with local volunteers, have completed a trail named for a man who helped pioneer the Four Bay trails — a man who was also lost too soon.
The trail is named “Noah” for Noah Talley, formerly of Elkridge, who died from suicide in 2016 at the age of 20. According to his mother, Wendy Giddings, her son loved to ride his bike.
“Noah grew up in Elk Ridge, and his first mountain bike ride was from our house to Four Bay,” she said. “He loved that area. He would ride all over it. He would camp there too. He learned to mountain bike there and he loved to ride. Whenever I ride the trails at Four Bay, I feel he’s with me. It’s a special place for our family because of the many memories we have of Noah there.”
Local mountain biker Brad Dayton has been helping to build the trail since early spring, and it was he who suggested the trail be named for Noah.
“When we were working on the trail, I suggested that we name it after Noah, and everyone agreed,” Dayton said. “Noah was my daughter’s age, and he actually helped me to get back into mountain biking. He was one of the original riders out here and was a pioneer for what has become a great local gem. He rode professionally for a couple years, and even today, Noah still holds many of the Strava records on the trails.”
Dayton has worked on the trail most of the days since construction began, and says it’s his way of giving back to those pioneers like Noah. Noah’s mother said she is grateful to Dayton and all those who have worked on the trail.
“The hurt is very deep,” Giddings said. “Only someone that has lost a loved one to suicide understands the pain. When Brad told me about the trail they were building for Noah, I immediately sent a text to his brother, sister and dad. We were all very touched that the people who had worked so hard on the trail, would be willing to name it after Noah.”
The trailhead for Four Bay is located about three miles up and on the east side of Payson Canyon. Noah’s trail connects with the JMC and K. Launi trails. Other trails named for loved ones lost are “Ezra,” “Little Shawny” and “K. Launi.” (Brown is a Serve Daily contributor.)