“I love walking in the woods, on the trails along the beaches. I love being part of nature. I love walking alone. It is therapy. One needs to be alone, to recharge one’s batteries.” – Grace Kelly
As I look back on 2022 and reflect on the progress we have made in our community, I could not be prouder.
Last year we cut the ribbon on the city’s 36th park, Vista Canyon, which offers residents pickleball courts, a new playground and the historic Mitchell River House.
Across town, we dedicated more than 200 acres of open space in the beautiful Bee Canyon, which will offer miles of trails ready for exploration. In November, the City Council officially extended its boundaries and welcomed the Tesoro Del Valle community into our city. Not only does this annexation include more than 1,000 homes, but also 770 acres of permanently preserved open space. This new addition to the city’s Open Space Preservation District joins more than 13,000 acres of pristine open space in the mountains and canyons that surround our wonderful city.
Currently, we are working to connect existing trails into our network and offer miles of new biking and hiking opportunities to our residents.
In 2023, I encourage you to venture out into the thousands of miles of open space for a change of scenery. The great thing about Santa Clarita is that we have it all, from valley floors that are easy to meander through, to extreme inclines that will get your heart pumping — and everything in between.
An easy and fun way to start exploring is by joining our monthly community hikes. The location changes each month and hikes vary in length and difficulty. The tour guide will change as well, with past leaders being docents from the Placerita Nature Center, local Boy Scouts and even a nature photographer. You won’t be bored when you hike along with this group.
If you would rather take in the views from atop a mountain bike, be sure to check out all of the programming at the Trek Bike Park of Santa Clarita. Each month, the city partners with Trek to offer Youth Mountain Bike Demo Days, which teach kids ages 6 to 9 years old basic bike fundamentals and proper riding techniques. I hope parents take advantage of this free program and maybe their kids will find their new favorite sport.
Just as important as it is to find a healthy hobby, finding a way to give back to your community is essential. The Trek Bike Park of Santa Clarita holds monthly volunteer workdays, which focus on the maintenance of the BMX and pump tracks, general trail cleanup and more.
For our avid hikers or community members who want to build hiking trails, check out the Crest-to-Coast trail workday. This unique volunteer opportunity works to connect the Romo Trail with the Gates Trail within the Newhall Pass Open Space. This addition will be a key connection in the Crest-to-Coast Trail project, which will run from the Pacific Crest Trail in Agua Dulce to the Ventura County line and eventually to the ocean. Grab your boots and head out into our open space for a day in the dirt. To learn more about these volunteer opportunities, visit SantaClaritaVolunteers.com.
There’s nothing better than recharging in nature. Whether it’s the crisp air and crunch of dirt beneath your feet, or the wind blowing in your face as you descend a trail, there are so many outdoor opportunities that you can take advantage of here in Santa Clarita. As we go into the new year, I hope you all can take a moment to recharge your body and mind on our trails. The best medicine for stress is waiting for you just outside your door.
To learn more about hiking or biking in the city, please visit BikeSantaClarita.com or HikeSantaClarita.com.
Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].