By Taylor Villanueva
Signal Staff Writer
The trail system in the Santa Clarita Valley consists of a variety of paths ranging in use and length, which serve both practical and leisurely uses.
The city of Santa Clarita’s Instagram page notes there are more than 115 miles of bike paths in the SCV. Trails along the city range from neighborhood paseos to multi-use trails.
The walking paths throughout the city have several classifications. Beside paseos, there are also lighted trails, river and creekside trails, bridges, underpasses, recreation centers and parks.
The trail system in the Santa Clarita Valley is divided into different sections based on trail class.
There are Class I Bike Paths, Class II Bike Lanes, Class III Bike Routes and Multi-Use Trails. The city provides descriptions for each type of trail on its website.
Class I Bike Paths provide “a completely separated right-of-way for the exclusive use of bicycles and pedestrians with cross-flow traffic minimized.” These paths also have fences that encourage the “use of designated access points.”
Class II Bike Lanes provide “a striped lane for one-way bike travel on a street or highway.” These lanes “are marked with signs and pavement striping,” according to the city’s website.
Class III Bike Routes provide for “shared use with a pedestrian or motor vehicle traffic” and are “marked with signs.”
Multi-use trails are “located primarily in rural areas.” These trails are “unpaved and are available for equestrian, hiking and mountain bike use.” The trails are “marked with lodgepole fencing.”
The trail system has expanded rapidly in recent years, and there are more upcoming changes to make it easier for pedestrians to safely make their way across the city.
To construct a new trail, the city must receive enough funding through grants or other means. Once there is a sufficient budget, the map-making process can commence.
Factors such as the city’s topography and jurisdictions play a role in where the trails can go. Engineers work with city members to make sure the trails are plausible in certain areas. Once these plans are approved, workers can begin the process to create a new trail.
Like most places, Santa Clarita has a trail system etiquette to maintain the quality of pathways and experience for those using the trails. Trails are open from sunrise to sunset. The paths have trash receptacles provided throughout the trails. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on these pedestrian paths. Dogs must be on leashes at all times, and pet owners have to pick up after their dogs to keep the trails clean. There are also posted trail use guidelines for trails that have individualized rules.
For information on pedestrian trails in the SCV, visit hikesantaclarita.com and bikesantaclarita.com. Visit santa-clarita.com for general information on trails, including maps and locations.