Equestrians, bicyclists, runners and sightseers are celebrating the completion of a new scenic route, as the Iron Horse Trailhead opened to hundreds of trail enthusiasts Friday morning, providing a new connection to the South Fork Trail.
The four-mile Iron Horse Trail is a multi-use riding and walking path that extends from the trailhead at the north side of Magic Mountain Parkway east of Tourney Road, to the South Fork Trail.
“This is a monumental thing,” said Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Laurene Weste.
“We have become a community of trails. We are noted for them. It is growing,” she said.
Today, approximately 70 miles of trails and 20 miles of paseos weave throughout the Santa Clarita Valley – the Iron Horse Trail adds four more miles.
The path features many amenities for those looking to partake in the experience including water bubblers for horses, bike racks, a rest area and benches as well as a paved access road.
“It’s really smooth and looks great,” said runner Kyle Robinson, referring to the trail’s new pavement.
“Crossroads at Iron Horse Trailhead,” a trailside art piece by local sculptors Idelle Tyzbir and Dianne Foderaro, serves as the focal point of the entrance, greeting trail-goers as they enter the area.
The 15-foot tall monument showcases three vertical steel beams, each with two arms pointing in the general direction of an assortment of historical landmarks around the Santa Clarita Valley including: The Oak of the Golden Dream, Newhall Ranch, Mentryville, Tatavium Native American Indians, Lyons Station and the Golden Spike.
“The Iron Horse Trailhead is a wonderfully unique partnership project between the City of Santa Clarita and Newhall Land designed to link our local trails with regional trails, providing a scenic pathway for users,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Frank Ferry.
“It’s good to see the public out there especially promoting good health,” said running enthusiast Giovanni Guzman.
“This is certainly a more interesting piece of history and trail when you ride across it,” Weste said as she focused on the railroad bridge connecting the trailhead to the trail.
The bridge dedicated Friday was a replacement bridge brought in to replace the original which washed away when the St. Francis Dam failed in 1928. The bridge that trail-goers cross today once spanned the Colorado River nearly a century ago.
For bicyclists and runners, the bridge not only serves as an entrance to the trail, but as a safer connection between two regions.
“We don’t have to run through the street anymore,” said Ryan Bowen. “It allows us to run and experience different places,” he said.
“Most important thing for us is being able to connect from both sides of the wash,” said Valencia resident Rick Ange.
Ange rides through the area four times a week and has committed to making the new trail a part of his route.