Santa Clarita Valley Trail Users set out Saturday morning to create a new multi-use trail in the East Walker Ranch open space in Canyon Country.
Beginning at 8 a.m. and equipped with rakes, hoes and shovels, at least 60 volunteers dotted the hillsides of East Walker Ranch, chopping back brush and leveling-out certain stretches for the new trail.
The volunteers for the day’s event are apart of SCVTU, a coalition of the three local organizations, Recreational Equipment Inc., or REI; Girlz Gone Riding, or GGR; and Concerned Off Road Bicycle Association, or CORBA.
“We do trail maintenance about half a dozen times a year,” said Dan Cole, a volunteer with SCVTU. “This year we’ll be close to having done 3.5 miles (of trails).”
For more information about the Santa Clarita open space trail network, visit the city’s trail guide at hikesantaclarita.com.
Saturday’s meetup was designed to lengthen a linking route between the trails in the Walker Ranch and Golden Valley Ranch open spaces, according to event organizers.
“This is a connector that lets you link up five or six miles of trails here, with many more miles over (in Golden Valley Ranch), making longer hiking and biking loops,” said Anthony Arnold, another volunteer at the event.
“This is a pretty special event,” said CORBA President Steve Messer. “We don’t get to build trails very often. There’s definitely more enthusiasm when you get to build new trails.”
And while only a handful of people help maintain these public spaces, SCVTU members encourage everyone in the community make use of the trails they create.
“We’ve done a lot of work between just the mountain bikers and hikers to build these trails,” said Wendy Engelberg, GGR president and SCVTU committee member. “But these are designed to be multi-use trails, meaning that they’re to be used by everything except motorized vehicles.”
Saturday’s project is the result of an agreement between the volunteer organizations and City of Santa Clarita officials, according to SCVTU chairperson Ken Raleigh.
“The city is great to work with and its nice that they allow the community to come out and build trails for hikers, bikers and equestrians to enjoy,” said Raleigh.