The County of Los Angeles developed this plan to expand opportunities for residents and visitors to experience the unique natural and cultural resources of the Santa Susana Mountains by means of a comprehensive, multi-use regional trail network.
The Santa Susana Mountains Trails Master Plan-Phase II (SSMTMP-PII) includes a 67.5-mile planned regional trail network within a 22-square-mile study area, which abuts the Santa Clara River to the north, the City of Santa Clarita and the I-5 freeway to the east, the Santa Susana Mountains Final Trails Master Plan-Phase I (SSMFTMP-PI) area to the south, and the Newhall Ranch Specific Plan area to the west. This trail network builds upon prior trail planning efforts within the northwest region of the County, augmenting the 71-mile planned regional trail network adopted in the SSMFTMP-PI (May 2015) and the 100-mile planned regional trail network adopted in the Castaic Area Multi-Use Trails Plan (October 2016). These plans were made possible by funding provided by the Fifth Supervisorial District of Los Angeles County in order to realize and conserve the full potential of regional multi-use trail connectivity.
The SSMTMP-PII has two central goals: (1) develop a complete multi-use trail system connecting user groups and local populations to desired recreation destinations and experiences, with seamless transitions to the trails of adjacent jurisdictions, compatibility with adjacent land uses and environmental resources, and a safe and sustainable design consistent with the County of Los Angeles Trails Manual; and (2) develop a recreational trail system that supports low-intensity use, including mountain biking, equestrian use, and hiking, to accommodate the population increase anticipated in the Santa Clarita Valley Planning Area through the 2035 planning horizon, consistent with the Parks and Recreation Element of the Los Angeles County General Plan 2035. These goals are also supported by seven planning objectives, which shaped the development of the plan and will guide its implementation.
The plan balances a wide array of considerations to conserve the long-term sustainability of the County's multi-use trail network. It acts as a framework to encourage and promote new multi-use trails and recommend improvements to existing trails, recommending connections and transitions to areas, jurisdictions, and prime destinations within and adjacent to the SSMTMP-PII study area in the Santa Clarita Valley and northern foothills of the Santa Susana Mountains. The plan seeks to respect sensitive resources while reducing unmet demand for recreation opportunities in the Santa Clarita Valley Planning Area and throughout the Fifth Supervisorial District of Los Angeles County. The plan incorporates feedback from multiple agencies, stakeholders, and community members received during an extensive public engagement process that is detailed in the plan, such as a series of public meetings and stakeholder meetings, consultation with Native American tribal representatives, and an interactive project website.
Upon approval by the County Board of Supervisors, the trails proposed as part of the SSMTMP-PII be incorporated into the County's General Plan for future development. The plan includes a series of strategies for the implementation of trails proposed in the plan, from land acquisition to future maintenance. It is anticipated that the trails will be constructed incrementally over the 2035 planning horizon as a result of a variety of factors, including available lands and resources.
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