SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Cameron Smyth | Stay

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Cameron Smyth | Stay

Cameron Smyth

If you are looking for a new trail to explore, you are in luck! Last month, 28 students from the William S. Hart School District collaborated with our Open Space Division to create two new trails for our residents.

The Rattlesnake Run now connects the McHaddad Trail to Weldon Bridge in the Newhall Pass Open Space, while the Heritage Trail has a new bypass trail for a safer experience for our hikers. Not only do these trails add additional mileage and safety for our residents, but the trail-building process helps educate and engage our youth on the importance of building and maintaining our open spaces.

I encourage all of our residents to stay active and explore our trails this summer. Remember, always hike with a buddy and stay hydrated. By bringing extra water, sunscreen and a hat, you can protect yourself from the sun while enjoying the outdoors.

In Santa Clarita, we are surrounded by beautiful mountains, but we must remember that we also share this space with a variety of wild animals. On any of our trails, residents must always be on the lookout for rattlesnakes. If you are bringing your dog on a hike, always keep them on a leash. By allowing them to roam, you increase the chance of them getting bit by a snake.

Another safety tip is never to wear earbuds in both ears while hiking. If you are listening to music, you won’t be able to hear the rattle on a snake’s tail, signaling their presence. However, if you do run across a rattlesnake, never approach it. Stay at least five feet away from the snake and either continue on your trail if safe or turn around. Remember, if you do run into any trouble or need help, please call 9-1-1 and report your location by giving first responders your location through the use of the trail markers. Each of those markers along our trails are linked to coordinates with your exact location.

For our adventurous residents who would rather hit the trails on their bikes, we invite you to test your abilities at the Trek Bike Park of Santa Clarita. City staff have been working hard this past month to make upgrades across the park. As you enter the Bike Park, check out the new, decomposed granite that has been laid on the ground. This new material provides a firm walking path that will make it easier for bike riders and pedestrians to access the park. This will also help reduce mud whenever it rains.

Next to the bike tool station, we are installing a water fountain to fill up water bottles or quench your thirst after a great ride. Shade structures are also getting revamped with a fresh coat of paint and new shade sails. On the tracks, concrete has been added to all three turns, as well as the starting hill at the BMX track. The Red Trail will also be getting additional routes as well as a ladder drop feature in the near future. With so many new additions, I am excited to see our residents come out and enjoy the Bike Park. This amenity is free to visit seven days a week and is open from dawn until dusk. The park offers riders seven acres to practice jumps and develop their skills with trails ranging from easy to moderate difficulty. We welcome riders of all ages and skill levels to come out and enjoy this wonderful park.

I hope all of our residents can find a fun and healthy activity this summer, whether that’s out on our trails or testing out the Bike Park. To find out more information on our Open Spaces and trails, please visit hikesantaclarita.com for an interactive map and hiking tips. If you would like to visit our Trek Bike Park of Santa Clarita to check out the pump tracks and trails, go to santa-clarita.com for more information.

Councilmember Cameron Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]

Outdoors