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Dante Acosta: Explore SCV’s open spaces

Posted: June 20, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 20, 2014 2:00 a.m.

There is something special about getting out and enjoying the open-space areas of Santa Clarita.

For many, Santa Clarita’s natural, protected areas are a great opportunity to appreciate the unique place we all call home while clearing the mind and renewing the spirit.

Conservationist, naturalist and author John Muir once said, “It is impossible to overestimate the value of wild mountains and mountain temples as places for people to grow in, recreation grounds for soul and body.”

The Santa Clarita City Council has always been on the same page as Muir. We recognize the value of protecting natural spaces where people can roam and where nature remains untouched and protected.

Our natural spaces are a big part of why people love living in Santa Clarita and visiting our community.

The city of Santa Clarita has participated in the preservation of more than 8,000 acres of open space throughout the Santa Clarita Valley as part of the Open Space Preservation District.

These lands have become increasingly popular over the years, and in 2013 alone an estimated 630,000 people visited city open space.

We believe that number will continue to increase as we acquire new property and create new pathways to explore.

If you are looking for a few no-cost activities to add to your summer to-do list, I encourage you to get out and enjoy a morning or afternoon on the trail.

The city offers several tools to help explorers of all ages find the perfect path. features an interactive trail map with details about hiking trails, the city’s trail system, trailheads and the Los Angele County trail system.

The site also features a question-and-answer forum with local outdoor expert columnist “Ask Dr. Norm,” as well as an opportunity to share you hike with others, details about trail etiquette, and things to be aware of like snakes and other wild animals you may encounter.

The Hike Santa Clarita app is also available for iPhone and Android phones if you are looking to find your trail while on the go.

The free, popular app has already been downloaded more than 3,100 times, making it one of the city’s most successful to date.

There are so many great trails in Santa Clarita to explore. A few of the more popular include Quigley Canyon and Wildwood Canyon, both of which recently enjoyed a few upgrades.

The 168-acre Quigley Canyon space, located in the heart of Placerita Canyon, is now accessible from a new trailhead on Placerita Canyon Road about half a mile west of Sierra Highway.

Quigley Canyon is one of the city’s most popular open spaces for horseback riders, cyclists as well as hikers, featuring more than five miles of connecting trails and tree-covered picnic tables.

Clean Energy Systems generously granted the property for the new trailhead and trail, which now connects to the canyon.

The new trailhead into Quigley Canyon is also large enough to accommodate horse trailers during organized equestrian group rides.

Access to Wildwood Canyon, which the city purchased just a few years ago, is tucked away in a residential neighborhood in Newhall.

The city has worked with a trail contractor to grade a short access trail that now connects with existing loop trails within the canyon.

Dotted with beautiful oak trees, this popular hiking spot features more than a mile and a half of cleared trail and offers access for equestrians, hikers and cyclists.

The city is committed to making Santa Clarita’s open spaces inviting and easy to navigate, but we don’t do it alone.

A team of volunteers, city maintenance staff and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority help keep Santa Clarita’s open space clean, connected and safe.

We are always looking for volunteers who are willing to come out and help with everything from routine trail maintenance to constructing more complex trail improvements.

For more information about volunteering to protect and preserve Santa Clarita’s natural open spaces, please register as a volunteer at

I hope to see you on the trail soon as a guest or volunteer trail preserver, and best wishes for a great start to summer!

Dante Acosta is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at



ricketzz: Posted: June 20, 2014 9:31 a.m.

What does this newspaper have against maps and charts?

Baddog1: Posted: June 20, 2014 10:38 a.m.

Go enjoy the Open Spaces before the Council re-zones them for whatever money making scheme they feel "is best for the city".

tech: Posted: June 20, 2014 5:31 p.m.

Perhaps they don't wish to duplicate what was mentioned in the column, i.e., ricketzz.

Here you go:

TWgolf: Posted: June 20, 2014 8:50 p.m.

Sure, go ahead and explore and get harassed by the sheriff's department and probably receive some type of ticket, most likely trespassing.

ricketzz: Posted: June 21, 2014 9:43 a.m.

If for no other reason than to break up a block of text with something besides an ad. If I bought 8,000 acres I'd like to see where it was.

Indy: Posted: June 21, 2014 10:32 p.m.

Baddog1 wrote: Go enjoy the Open Spaces before the Council re-zones them for whatever money making scheme they feel "is best for the city".

Indy: As much as I’d like to be critical of the city council on the ‘growth’ issue, the decision to require more housing starts is based on population growth that is determined by the public.

No one I know has asked a city council member how many children to have . . .

And if your family has more than two children, then more homes need to be built.

I do realize that conservatives in general believe in ‘unlimited’ growth but can’t come to grips with dealing with the overpopulation issue that threatens our long term future.

And neither does Obama which during his SOTU speech likewise promised ‘unlimited’ growth on this ‘fixed rock in space’.

In any event, there are organizations that are addressing what is termed ‘sustainable growth’.

They include:

Worldwatch Institute:
Population Connection:

Until the media and political leaders start discussing this, housing development will continue whether we have energy or water to support same.

chefgirl358: Posted: June 22, 2014 10:38 a.m.

Be careful you don't run into a giant digital billboard while enjoying the open space.

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: June 25, 2014 11:30 a.m.

Thanks for NOTHING Acosta, you creep. Rubber-Stamping the billboard deal with your new friends, eh? What a tool.

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: June 25, 2014 1:40 p.m.

Acosta wants us to get out and enjoy the preserved "open space."

You know, the ones he and his friends want to erect 60-ft digital billboards on. Will we be arrested for trespassing too?

AlwaysRight: Posted: June 25, 2014 7:14 p.m.

Petzold was lucky he didn''t get tazered last night. LOL

lars1: Posted: June 26, 2014 11:43 p.m.

Indy, the city and city council are going ahead with residential development on the toxic waste site. Nothing is happening there regarding any cleanup. There just waiting for the "official buy off", that says everything is OK!

They put veterans houses there, so any problems that may happen will be written off to exposure in war areas.

The Villa metro development was approved, and its across the street from the spreading toxic waste site.

Next, will be the rows and rows of house springing up on the toxic site.
Just to let everyone know, the house built on Plum Canyon and Heller have gas exhaust pipes in their backyards. They built the houses on a natural gas area!

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