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Laurene Weste: Historic Iron Horse Trailhead open

Posted: June 9, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 9, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

"Keep close to Nature’s heart ... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” — John Muir

Santa Clarita is an amazing place to live, work, stay healthy and enjoy the good life — especially the great outdoors.

With more than 6,000 acres of picturesque open space and more than 60 miles of off-street trails, there are plenty of scenic pathways for community members to enjoy a few hours outside in the California sunshine hiking and exploring around town.

On June 15, at 10 a.m., the city, along with dignitaries, equestrians, runners, artists and the public, will celebrate the completion of a remarkable outdoor enhancement — the Iron Horse Trailhead.

This open-space expansion effort is a unique partnership between the city of Santa Clarita and Newhall Land Development Inc. designed to link local and regional trails and thousands of open space acres.

Located off Magic Mountain Parkway near Tourney Road, the four-mile Iron Horse Trail increases access for residents who use the multi-use trail through the adjacent tree farm.

Additionally, it connects to the South Fork Trail across the historic 1898 railroad bridge.

The new trailhead area includes: a rest area with a lovely shade structure; benches and a kiosk; paved access road; equestrian parking for five trucks with horse trailers; parking for 14 vehicles; a drinking fountain; a water bubbler for horses; bike racks; an equestrian staging area; landscaping and lodge pole fencing.

The Iron Horse Trailhead also incorporates a trailside art piece designed by two local artists, Idelle Okman Tyzbir and Dianne Foderaro. As part of the city’s efforts to incorporate art throughout the city, the “Crossroads at Iron Horse Trailhead” portrays historical aspects of the Santa Clarita Valley, including: Tatavium Native Americans, the Oak of the Golden Dream, Newhall Ranch, Lyons Station, the Golden Spike and Mentryville.

Featuring three vertical angles rising 15 feet into the air, the art piece is connected by crossing bars at the top of the sculpture and echoes the construction of the train trestle located nearby.

In anticipation of the Iron Horse Trailhead and trestle bridge, the Santa Clarita Runners Club will host a training run before the grand opening at 8 a.m.

For more information on this training run, contact Phil Howard at PHoward@semcoinstruments.com.

Since 2007, the city has expanded its extensive trail network with several new segments and added amenities like trail markers, information kiosks, signs and security gates to help make these beautiful public lands more user-friendly and accessible to the community.

The city also expanded its hiking amenities to include HikeSantaClarita.com. The new comprehensive website is a one-stop shop for hiking enthusiasts, mountain bikers and equestrians looking for information on how they can best enjoy the resources of the city’s open space areas.

As the Santa Clarita City Council looks to the future of trails and open space, we are working to increase community support and awareness of the Crest to Coast Trail Project Report.

In partnership with more than 40 private, public and community stakeholders, the Crest to Coast Project is the first, comprehensive trail plan to link new and existing trails and open spaces to Ventura County and potentially the Pacific Ocean.

While the effort to define and develop the report has been largely successful, tremendous work lies ahead in seeking grant funding from federal and state agencies in the coming years.

For more information on the Iron Horse Trailhead dedication event, contact the city at (661) 255-4939.

Laurene Weste is a Santa Clarita City Council member and can be reached at: lweste@santa-clarita.com. 

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