22 June 2010

Future Trails in the Brea Portion of Carbon Canyon

In 2003, the City of Brea completed its general plan, a 480-page document that, among many parts, contains a section about trails, existing and future, in the community.  When it comes to planned trails for the Carbon Canyon area, the situation is quite different than that for Chino Hills.  This is basically because the Brea portion of the canyon is much more rugged (and dramatic) with steeper walls and a narrower bottom, which would make it far more difficult to have connecting trails to areas around it.

A Trails Plan included in the general plan shows some notable components.  At the canyon's western end, there is an existing "Chino Hills Trail" leading from Rose Drive into Carbon Canyon Regional Park and then connecting with an access way to Chino Hills State Park where the new park visitor center is nearly completed.

To the north, there is a proposed trail to someday be part of the Orange County regional park slated for the Olinda Alpha Landfill when it closes (the original date of 2013 is now 2021.)  This is the Tres Hermanos Trail, named for the ranch in upper Tonner Canyon owned by the City of Industry.  The Tres Hermanos Trail is supposed to link up with the northern reaches of Chino Hills State Park in the hills above Olinda Village and Olinda Ranch. 

Incidentally, there is also a trail marked the "Tonner Canyon Trail" that would run from Brea Canyon Road under the 57 Freeway and into Tonner Cnyon, with a link to the end of Valencia Avenue, near the landfill entrance.  A "Tonner Ridge Trail" would follow the top of the hills from Valencia Avenue west toward Brea-Olinda High School before moving north to meet the "Tonner Canyon Trail."  The "Tonner Ridge Trail" would connect eastward with the Tres Hermanos Trail.

Another trail is proposed to run from the El Rodeo Stables site (which is now closing?) northeastward into the state park and then along the latter's western boundary until it meets up with the Tres Hermanos Trail.

Regarding the state park area north of Carbon Canyon Road, a future trail would run from the state highway into the hills west of Olinda Village and join up with existing loop trails in the park.  The same situation is slated for a trail to go from the highway at the east end of the village and up into the state park's eastern flank.

Finally, there are two identified trail sites on the south side of Carbon Canyon.  One would lead downslope just east of Hollydale Mobile Home Estates and connect to the existing Soquel Canyon trail, a part of which is within Chino Hills State Park, while the remainder is an access road held by private parties out to the San Bernardino County line.  A second trail is a spur that would lead south from the trail at the eastern edge of Olinda Village mentioned in the last paragraph.  This spur would connect to the Soquel Canyon route, as well.

Finally, there is the "Carbon Canyon Trail" which would parallel the state highway from Carbon Canyon Regional Park to the San Bernardino County line.  It would be interesting to know what kind of trail this is slated to be, presumably one that would follow the shoulder of the roadway (much of which, on the south side, is under mudslides from the heavy rainfall in 2004-05.) 

Notably, there are no identified future trails for the area that has been the heavily contested "Canyon Crest" housing project proposal, north of the highway and east of the old La Vida Mineral Springs property.  The more rugged southern side also is not included in any future trail planning.

As with the discussion in the last entry about trail planning on the Chino Hills side of the canyon, there are many questions concerning the future of trails on Carbon Canyon's Brea portion, including the difficulties in acquiring private property or rights-of-way and easements on such, as well as whether any funding is conceivable for trail building and maintenance. 

Still, it would be great if something could be done to enhance the recreational value of trails within the Canyon and the cities of Brea and Chino Hills are to be commended for devising plans that point to the potential for future trail development.

Here is the link to the Brea General Plan--at page 284 is Figure CR-2, Trails Plan.


Addendum, 24 June 2009:

The following was received from a regular reader of the blog, who was commenting on future trails for the area within the proposed Canyon Crest project that has been often discussed here.  Specifically, the discussion is about the old general plan that existed in Brea before the current 2003 version was approved:

The Brea General Plan in effect at that time does show a trail through that property called Olinda Trail that follows the paved road all the way to the Brea water tanks and beyond to the edge of the Hill of Hope property. The City of Brea purchased an easement to those water tanks. This trail would be an important link from Brea to Chino Hills that could possibly be completed if Hill of Hope is ever developed. Olinda Trail provides access to the existing Sonome and La Vida Trails and is quite popular.
The paved road is the extension of Olinda Drive at the east end of Olinda Village.  The idea that the trail could be a connecting route between Chino Hills and Brea is interesting, but would, as indicated, depend upon the future of the St. Joseph's Hill of Hope religious community property.  The death of Frances Klug, the spiritual leader of the organization, might well mean that there could be, down the road, some changes with respect to that property.  As the correspondent notes, the Olinda Trail is commonly used for hiking and the Sonome Canyon Trail is within Chino Hills State Park lands to the north of Olinda Village, while the La Vida Trail is on private land leading into the hills from the old resort site east of the village.
Notably, the correspondent indicates that. regarding the Olinda Trail:

I mentioned that because it is one of the items that the Canyon Crest appeal was based on. Their project was built on trails and open space corridors and was therefore not consistent with the City of Brea General Plan, which can't be changed retroactively for their project.

In other words, the Olinda Trail and other trails within the area embraced by Canyon Crest were deleted from the general plan in the 2003 revision, but Canyon Crest was first proposed four years prior to that, which refers to the comment about retroactive changes to the general plan regarding these trails, which evidently was done by the Brea recreation department without public input.
Further, there was this clarification about the Carbon Canyon Trail:

Also, the Carbon Canyon Trail shown on that General Plan includes a bikeway along Carbon Canyon Road. It's shown on the maps in the Transportation Element of that General Plan. That's supposed to be built when the properties along SH142 get developed.

As stated in the blog entry, it would be interesting to know how a bike lane would be established on significant portions of the highway given the constraints of the canyon's geography.  At any rate, if there is a reliance on developing property along the highway, that would appear to be a long time coming, if at all.

At any rate, thanks to this correspondent for the information!

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