20 June 2010

Future Trails in the Chino Hills Portion of Carbon Canyon

In March, the City of Chino Hills issued a nice four-color pamphlet of city-maintained trails, including those for bicycle, equestrian and hiking and walking uses.  As pointed out in the brochure, there are over 3,000 acres of open space and thirty-nine miles of trails, which are among the many great amenities in the city.  Of course, the city also borders Chino Hills State Park, which encompasses 16,000 acres and features many enjoyable trails leading west to Carbon Canyon Regional Park and the soon-to-be-opened state park visitors' center and south to Corona near Prado Dam.

In 2000, the city created an advisory committee to develop a Trails Master Plan as part of a broader plan for parks, recreation and open space.  Eight residents were involved, along with members of the planning, public works and parks and recreation commissions.  For seven months, twice a month, the committee met and then developed the plan.  The new map shows current parks and trails, as well as the proposed routes of future trails, most of which are in the canyon areas at the western portions of the city, including Tonner, Soquel, and Carbon canyons. 

With Tonner, there are proposed trails following the existing Tonner Canyon Road, a narrow asphalt paved road in land owned by the City of Industry, which has proposed building a reservoir within the canyon.  There are proposed trails, along Grand Avenue as it bisects Tonner Canyon; a link to trails between Grand Avenue Park and Sunset Park in the Gordon Ranch area; a link from the current western terminus of Eucalyptus Avenue; and others leading toward Tonner Canyon from Oak Tree Estates and from Sleepy Hollow. 

At Soquel Canyon, there is a proposed trail running along Woodview Road from Pipeline Avenue and into the canyon near an existing trail within the Vellano gated community, following the canyon bottom until the Orange/San Bernardino county line.  Spur trails are projected from the western end of Vellano into Soquel Canyon and from the canyon southward into Chino Hills State Park.

As to Carbon Canyon, there is a projected trail running along the south side of Carbon Canyon Road from Chino Hills Parkway to Old Carbon Canyon Road.  This is open space on which cattle are run year-round.  This trail then would continue south and east in the open space area back toward the residential area that is west of Peyton Drive between Chino Hills Parkway and Woodview Road.  A shorter trail is anticipated on the north side of Carbon Canyon Road between the tract just west of Crossroads Park, south of Eucalyptus Avenue, and Summit Ranch.  Another trail is marked as running south from the highway just west of Carriage Hills and then linking with a trail leading from the top of Mountain View Estates, the subdivision along Canon Lane south from Carbon Canyon Road.  This trail would link up with the aforementioned trail running from the western edge of Vellano into Soquel Canyon.  Some smaller trails would go from Carbon Canyon road southward in the area just west of Mountain View Estates and north along Canyon Hills Road.  As stated before, there are two anticipated routes from Sleepy Hollow north into the Tonner Canyon area, including one that runs along the county line, along the eastern edge of the St. Joseph's Hill of Hope religious facility.

Obviously, these trails are dependent on so many factors, not the least of which is acquisition of private property in a time in which publicly-available funds for such purchases are scant.  How likely that any of these anticipated routes are to come on to the "grid" in the near future is uncertain.  In a region, however, where very few cities have as substantial network of actual and intended multi-use trails in as picturesque a setting as Chino Hills, it can only be hoped that there is some reasonable hope for many of these to come to fruition.  These future trails would further enhance what is already a significant benefit to city residents and guests who can use our existing trails to get beautiful mountain, valley and canyon views and enjoy something of the natural setting that still substantially exists in the city.

Current trail hours are 7 a.m. to 9 pm. from May to September and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from October to April.  For more information about the pamphlet, call the city's Recreation Division at (909) 364-2700.

The above scan is a detail from the "Discover Trails . . . Experience Chino Hills" pamphlet and map, issued by the City of Chino Hills in March 2010.

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