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Laurie Ender: Thousands of acres of open space in SCV

Live from City Hall

Posted: March 31, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 31, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 


Have you ever looked out at the natural landscape surrounding the Santa Clarita Valley and wanted to explore the beautiful rolling mountains? With more than 6,000 acres of picturesque open space land and trails, there are plenty of opportunities for community members to enjoy a few hours outside in the California sunshine, hiking around town.

This year, the city has expanded its extensive trail network with several new segments and added amenities, such as trail markers, information kiosks, signs and security gates to help make these beautiful public lands more user-friendly and accessible to the public.

Now, residents can discover a new favorite hiking spot or explore some of the city’s most popular areas including: Agua Dulce Canyon, East Walker Ranch, Elsmere Canyon, Golden Valley Ranch, Haskell Canyon and Quigley Canyon.

On April 6, the city will expand its hiking amenities with the launch of HikeSantaClarita.com. The new comprehensive website is a one-stop shop for hiking enthusiasts, mountain bikers and equestrians looking for information about the city’s open space areas.

Hike Santa Clarita includes a variety of interactive features, including a clickable map with trail information and photos of each of the open space area, information about directions and parking, trail etiquette and photos of a variety of wildlife caught on camera.

The website will provide updated information on new land acquisitions, trail heads and trails so community members will know where to go, what to expect and how to make the most of Santa Clarita’s wide-open spaces.

The city is also working with local hiking, equestrian and mountain biking clubs to include information on group activities and local outdoor events.

Over the last several years, the city has helped to bring thousands of acres of land into public ownership for the purpose of building a greenbelt of protected natural land around the Santa Clarita Valley.

In 2007, the city created the Open Space Preservation District to further the community’s goals for purchasing land in and around the city to be preserved for future generations. Property owners overwhelming supported the creation of the district, which has enabled the city to bring thousands of acres of land into public ownership, never to be developed.

Santa Clarita is an amazing place to live, work and enjoy the good life — especially the great outdoors. The local mountain ranges that surround the city are not only scenic but also act as a natural buffer for the community.

In the last 25 years, the city has been able to preserve more than 6,000 acres of land that will never be developed. Some of these areas include: Elsmere Canyon, located on the northwest side of town, which was originally slated to be the world’s largest trash dump; and Haskell Canyon, in the upper Saugus area, which was originally the site for more than 500 homes.

Santa Clarita’s thousands of acres of open space belong to the residents of this community, and the city would like the public to enjoy and experience the natural beauty of the area.

Whether it’s planning a family hike with the kids or looking for a difficult climb, I hope community members will find a new favorite hiking spot right here in Santa Clarita.

For more information about hiking opportunities in the city of Santa Clarita, visit HikeSantaClarita.com.

Laurie Ender is Santa Clarita’s Mayor and can be reached at: lender @santa-clarita.com.

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