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Happy trails near Tourney Road

Posted: June 16, 2012 1:30 a.m.
Updated: June 16, 2012 1:30 a.m.

Sue Winthers of County of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Mounted Assistance Unit applauds the speeches as she and her mount Bob attend the Iron Horse Trailhead grand opening ceremony in Valencia on Friday.

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Dogs, horses, bikes, runners and even a unicyclist crossed the historic 1898 railroad bridge Friday as residents celebrated the opening of the new Iron Horse Trailhead.

Located on Magic Mountain Parkway near Tourney Road, the four-mile trailhead begins at the trestle bridge and connects the South Fork Trail to the Valencia Industrial Center.

 The railroad bridge was taken from a bridge over the Colorado River and used to span the Santa Clara River after the old bridge was destroyed in the St. Francis Dam disaster.

Enhancements to the trailhead — built by Newhall Land Development Inc. — include a shade structure with benches, a parking lot, equestrian facilities with room for parking and staging, bike racks and new landscaping.

“We’ve been waiting for it to open,” local resident Joyce Herrin said. “Every little foot they add to it, we say ‘Hooray!’”

Herrin, a former Newhall Land employee, rode a movie train across the bridge 18 years ago and was excited to return to the bridge on bike Friday.

“We always love new trails,” said Equestrian Trails Inc. member Sue Winthers from atop her horse. “It’s nice to have green and trees and a change in terrain.”

Canyon Country resident Amanda Lundberg brought Molly, her retired race dog, but will “probably do more running than dog-walking on the trail.”

A tall iron trail marker, designed by local artists Idelle Okman Tyzbir and Dianne Foderaro, helps residents situate themselves within Santa Clarita’s local history. Its arms extend in the general direction of the Oak of the Golden Dream, Lyons Station, the Golden Spike and other significant local points of interest.

After community members gathered to cut the ribbon with a pair of oversized ceremonial scissors, Mayor Frank Ferry prepared local children to be the first to race across the bridge. Seconds after attempting to steal a head start in the race, Ferry fell to the ground with his feet and glasses in the air.

City spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said Friday afternoon that Ferry sustained a bruised wrist from the tumble.

“I went down like a sack of bricks,” Ferry said. “Thankfully, the kids were kind enough to run around me and not over me like a cartoon.”

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