Two hiking trails were officially opened to the public on Saturday morning in a ceremony at the Glendale Sports Complex attended by hikers, bikers and representatives from the city of Glendale. While soccer games and baseball practice proceeded on the fields, a red ribbon hung before the trail that winds around the San Rafael Hills that overlook the complex.
The date of the grand opening was not selected frivolously, but rather to celebrate National Trails Day, which falls on the first Saturday in June.
Jeff Weinstein, Glendale Trails and Open Spaces specialist, said at the ceremony, “I’ve been involved with trails for about 25 years. At first, trails were just thought of as a recreational amenity, then people started looking at trails for alternate transportation, safe routes for school and environmental education. Now it’s an opportunity to get out, have a quality life experience and enjoy what we have in Glendale’s great outdoors.”
The Mountain Do Trail, the shorter of the two at 0.75 miles in length, is made of decomposed granite and is ADA accessible thanks to three bridges and a reduced slope. Rest areas posted along the trail feature benches and fitness equipment.
The Catalina Verdugo Trail begins at the south end of the complex and completes a two-mile loop around the hills, returning at the north end. Named after the first lady of rancho San Rafael, the trail contains signage describing the history of the San Rafael Hills.
The trails have been in the works for years, backed by city programs seeking to expand trail and open space usage. The Catalina Verdugo Trail was funded as part of the 2009 Competitive Trails Grant Program, which aids projects that improve existing trails and develop new trails while the Mountain Do Trail was funded by the Recreational Trails Program, a federal assistance program.
“It’s projects like this that really help us expand opportunities for using our open space,” Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian said at the ceremony.
Rodney Khan, a board member of the Glendale Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission, emphasized the accessibility of the trails.
“That [ADA accessibility] in and of itself is very unique for this area,” said Khan of the Mountain Do trail. “It’s the only trail that’s ADA [accessible] and set in a natural environment.”
The trails are also intended to accommodate all who want to access them: hikers, bicyclists, dog walkers, children and seniors – all of whom tackled the trails directly after the ribbon cutting.