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Happy trails

The city of Santa Clarita’s trail system makes it easy and fun to get around

Posted: March 2, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: March 2, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Let's hit the trails.

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• The city of Santa Clarita is home to more than 60 miles of off-street trails and paseos, which are used for a variety of purposes including cycling, walking, jogging and skating. Multi-use trails are also available for equestrian use and mountain biking.
• The city's trail system is located online at www.Santa-Clarita.com/trails. The detailed trail map includes existing trail heads, trail uses and proposed trail sites that will be built-out in the future.
• The first trails built by the city of Santa Clarita were completed in 1993 and include the South Fork Trail.
• There are two classifications of trails in the City; Class 1 trails, which are off-street paved trails used for cycling, walking, jogging and skating, and Multi-use trails which can accommodate different uses, such as mountain biking and horseback riding.
• In addition to trails, there are also bike lanes and routes that allow for safe, non-motorized navigation of city streets.
• Two of the oldest trails in Santa Clarita, and two of the most commonly used, are the Santa Clara River Trail and the South Fork Trail.
• The Santa Clara River Trail has several sections, comprising more than 17 miles of length, and runs the length of Soledad Canyon Road, from Lost Canyon in Canyon Country all the way past Bouquet Canyon Road, to it's current terminus off of Magic Mountain Parkway.
• The South Fork Trail has two main sections that make up nearly four miles and run from Old Orchard Village Road to Valencia Boulevard.
• The city of Santa Clarita's off-street trail system is a large contributor to Santa Clarita's high quality of life and has long been a big priority for the Santa Clarita City Council.
• The City's trail system is an integral part of the Non-Motorized Plan, which is focused on the environmentally friendly practice of keeping cars off of the road. Hundreds of residents use the city's off-street trails and bike lanes to commute to school and their workplace.
• The city tries very hard to be in tune with the cycling community and, over the years, has supported bicycle-friendly events and practices.
• There are several events that use the city's trail system. One of the highest profile events is the Santa Clarita Marathon (held the first Sunday in November), which includes a full marathon, half marathon and 5k. The city's elaborate trail system is something that out-of-town visitors mention regularly on surveys as a top reason they choose to participate in the Santa Clarita Marathon.
• Another prominent event is hosted by the Santa Clarita Velo, in partnership with the city of Santa Clarita and the Child and Family Center. The Santa Clarita Century Bicycle ride, which includes a 100-mile bike ride, utilizes sections of the city's trail system (www.SantaClaritaCentury.com).
• Major segments of the trail system that were recently completed include the Golden Valley Road Trail and the Newhall Ranch Road Trail. Both of these trails we're part of the Cross Valley Connector and have added more than 10 miles of trail sections from Green Mountain Road in Canyon Country along the length of the Golden Valley Road through to Newhall Ranch Road.
• The city has made it a priority to add extra width to roads when possible, when they are being designed and built to include trails into new projects.
• The city's network of roads is a result of multi-agency cooperation, public-private partnerships and public input.
• There are many miles of trails that are proposed and will be built out in the future. These trails can be seen on the city's website via the trail map at www.Santa-Clarita.com/trails.
• In the near future, the Iron Horse Trailhead is scheduled to open in spring 2012. Located near the intersection of Magic Mountain Parkway and Tournament Road, this trailhead will provide parking for cars and horse trailers, as well as an equestrian staging area, a shade structure, and an information kiosk. A one-half mile extension of the Santa Clara River Tail and an access to the recently converted railroad bridge will also be completed as part of the construction. The work is funded and supervised by Newhall Land as part of the North Valencia 1 Development Agreement and is another example of a public private partnership.
• In the future there will also be an extension of the Santa Clara River Trail from its western terminus underneath the I-5 freeway and into un-incorporated L.A. County, connecting to Rye Canyon Road via the Old Road. This project is already funded and has been highly-desired by the cycling community as it will improve safety measures through busy intersections. This project is made possible through the cooperation and partnership of Newhall Land and the Los Angeles County.

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