With a trail and hills as their backdrop, city officials, community members and over two dozen bicyclists celebrated the opening of the River Village Trailhead on Thursday morning.
Located on the corner of Bouquet Canyon Road and Newhall Ranch Road, the trailhead connects to the 11-mile Santa Clara River Trail that stretches from Interstate 5 to Sand Canyon Road.
The trailhead features a bike repair station sponsored by the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition, a bike rack, a drinking fountain for guests and their four-legged friends, four picnic tables, two benches and a water feature built with rocks from the Santa Clara River.
“It’s something you don’t see in other communities,” Mayor Cameron Smyth said. “It’s just that extra detail that our staff and our partners think about when we are developing these trailheads and our trail system.”
The bike repair station was installed in honor of Rod Bennett, a local teacher who was killed on his bike on Placerita Canyon Road last year, according to SCV Bicycle Coalition Chair Nina Moskol.
“We’re here to keep Santa Clarita a safe, fun, bikeable place to live in,” Moskol said.
The city constructed the trailhead in collaboration with FivePoint and Castaic Lake Water Agency.
“Bringing this amenity forward this year seems fitting to be part of our original vision for Valencia,” FivePoint Community President Don Kimball said in light of the 50th anniversary of the first Valencia residents moving in. “The original master plan really was based on walkability and connectivity and that’s exactly what today is all about.”
By spring 2018, Castaic Lake Water Agency will complete construction on seven parking spaces, one accessible parking space and two electric vehicle charging stations to be located beside the Starbucks parking lot.
Among several attendees who brought their dogs to the event, Assemblyman Dante Acosta brought his new puppy to enjoy the area.
“Look at this gathering together of men and women in black suits and elected officials and cyclists and dog lovers and cyclists, all coming together over something that unites the community,” Acosta said. “That’s really what it’s all about.”