By City Manager Ken Striplin
The City of Santa Clarita has built a strong reputation throughout Southern California for the high quality of life our residents enjoy. You’d be hard pressed to find another community where you can explore miles of off-street trails, enjoy time as a family in nearly three dozen parks and discover the wonders of nature in thousands of acres of pristine open space — all just a few minutes away from your home.
While residents in the Santa Clarita Valley have continued to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City has been able to keep open our parks, trails and open space for safe use. We understand the importance of physical activity and the emotional, mental and physical toll that social isolation can take, and I am thankful that our residents have been able to safely and responsibly use public amenities so they can remain available.
As such, I would like to share a few reminders as more Safer-at-Home restrictions are lifted. These will help us all continue to do our part to keep one another safe during the summer months.
First, it is important to remember that wearing a cloth face covering or mask is still required in all of Los Angeles County when entering a business. Face coverings are also needed when you are out in public and cannot safely observe six feet of physical distancing. This does not mean that a face covering must be worn at all times when you step out of your front door. However, you should have one with you in case, for example, you do find yourself on a trail with other members of the public, and you cannot keep six feet of distance between you.
When in a City park, please note that playground equipment remains closed, though you can still go for walks, play in the grass or get in a tennis match at a City-owned court. The City’s off-street trail system and paseos, which go throughout Santa Clarita, remain open for walking, running, cycling and more.
Please continue to follow proper trail etiquette when hiking, biking or riding your horse through City-owned open space. City open space locations are open from sunrise to sunset and trail users must leave the trail the way they found it, which means carrying out their own trash. Motorized vehicles are prohibited and remember that cyclists must yield to pedestrians and that equestrians always have the right-of-way.
Each open space property in Santa Clarita has its own set of area-
specific rules and regulations. Please make sure to check the entrance sign or kiosk for the rules that apply to that property. It is also important to note that Los Angeles County-managed trails and those managed by the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority have posted rules about face covering usage that may differ from Santa Clarita’s trails, so please check all posted signage.
No matter which trail you use in the Santa Clarita Valley, keep in mind that you may run into various types of wildlife, including rattlesnakes. Make sure you have adequate supplies for your hikes, such as snacks and water, and familiarize yourself with the City’s emergency trail locator system so that you can call for help and give first responders your location if necessary.
You can learn more about general rules and regulations for Santa Clarita trails, as well as trail etiquette, by visiting HikeSantaClarita.com. To learn more about the City’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, please visit SantaClaritaEmergency.com.
Ken Striplin can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.