The city of Santa Clarita held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning to celebrate the opening of the Gates Family Wildlife Preserve Trailhead in Newhall.
Mayor Bill Miranda thanked several community leaders and members for their contributions to expanding open space in the city.
“This trailhead provides hundreds of beautiful acres of open space for our city,” he told a 60-person audience gathered at the trailhead. “Every time we get to use open space recreationally and enjoy this beautiful area over here, it’s a great thing for us, it’s a great thing for our citizens.”
Miranda said the addition of this open space, accessible from Pine Street, “enhances wildlife corridors and adds to the greenbelt surrounding our beautiful city.”
The new trails will also be a “vital piece” of the Crest to Coast Trail, Miranda said.
“The Crest to Coast Trail will run from Pacific Crest Trail near the actual Magic Mountain in Agua Dulce to the Ventura County Line,” he said. “The county of Ventura will then add connections to their trail system, which will someday take you all the way to the Pacific Ocean.”
Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste, who started working on the Crest to Coast Trail 16 years ago, said the trailhead provides access to many trails.
The trailhead was made possible by a 56-acre donation from local developer Mark Gates and offers access to 262 acres of open space.
“There (are) overviews of the San Fernando Valley at the top, you can overview Towsley Canyon and Ed Davis Park,” she said, noting she rode horses on these trails when she was a kid. “Over on the other side, you get all the way down to (Interstate) 5 (and) you can get down to our open space in Wildwood Canyon.”
Weste encouraged residents to safely enjoy the trails with friends and family.
“Always leave a map and tell people where you’re going,” she said. “We want somebody to know where you went in and where you expect to come out.”
The new trails are perfect for people of all ages, according to Janine Prado, the city’s director of recreation and community services.
“It just provides another outside recreational opportunity, which includes horses, bikers, kids, families, every age range can be out,” she said. “It’s been cleaned up and put back to its natural state. It’s very peaceful.”