Fall is officially upon us! With cooler temperatures, brisk autumn nights and leaves beginning to change color, now is the perfect time to explore our open space or enjoy our recreational amenities across Santa Clarita.
For our adrenaline enthusiasts and bike lovers, look no further than the Trek Bike Park of Santa Clarita. Earlier this summer, the entire park underwent upgrades, including a brand-new entrance path, a water fountain near the bike tool station and concrete laid on all three turns of the track, as well as the starting hill on the BMX track.
Additionally, three ladder drops were added to the Red Trail. This feature provides a technical element to the trail and allows bikers to gain enough speed on the ladder, which then drops off sharply, letting bikers launch themselves to the trail below. There is new excitement and new challenges for riders of all ages and abilities.
For our families with young riders who are just starting out, be sure to attend our free Youth Mountain Bike Demo Days. Riders between the ages of 6 and 9 will learn basic bike fundamentals, build confidence and learn new skills directly from Trek staff. Not only do these classes help teach important skills, but they also educate our riders about being smart and safe while riding on the tracks and trails. The bike park is free to visit seven days a week and is open from dawn until dusk. I hope to see riders from across the valley come and enjoy this great outdoor amenity.
For those who would rather explore our expansive trail network by foot, I encourage you to try our new Hiking Challenge. Residents have until Dec. 31, 2022, to complete seven different hiking trails in our local East Walker Ranch Open Space. With each trail ranging in length and difficulty, this is perfect for novice and advanced hikers. As you enter the 140-acre park, get ready to walk through beautiful rolling mountains, as well as Santa Clarita’s history.
This site was originally the Walker Family homestead in the early 1900s. The family of 14 used the land to grow a variety of vegetables and raise cattle, chickens and horses. Walker gained notoriety when he opened “Walker’s Gold Panning Camp,” where visitors paid him to pan for gold and to stay in one of his cabins on the land. It wasn’t until the Great Depression that the federal government enacted a gold mining restriction, ceasing all gold panning operations in that area.
As hikers adventure through the trails, they may see remnants of old troughs dotted across the landscape or happen upon natural white kerosene seeping up from the ground. Walker once used this natural resource to fuel his truck.
As always, never hike alone. Remember to bring water, stay on the trail and be aware of your surroundings. Our open space borders the Angeles National Forest, home to a wide range of wild animals, including grey foxes, black bears and mountain lions. Whether you are an avid hiker or a history buff, I hope you enjoy our new hiking challenge. Once you complete all seven trails, be sure to turn in your hiking log to receive a free prize. Each year the hiking location will change, so make sure you join the challenge before the end of the year!
With so many fun and engaging options to stay active, I hope to see our residents and visitors on the track or out on the trails this fall season. If you would like to register your child for the Youth Mountain Bike Demo Days or learn more about the Trek Bike Park, please visit santa-clarita.com/bikepark. For more information about the Hiking Challenge or to download the hike log, visit HikeSantaClarita.com.
Councilman Cameron Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].