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The San Francisquito Creek Trail features two parallel paved segments along its namesake waterway in Santa Clarita. The paths provide a useful north–south route, connecting neighborhoods with parks and retail. Running past Rio Norte Junior High School, Valencia High School and Legacy Christian Academy, the trail also serves hundreds of commuting students on weekdays.
With beautiful vistas and access to West Creek Park and Valencia Heritage Park (where a direct connection to the Bouquet Canyon Trail is available), the trail offers a number of additional recreational opportunities for trail users. From the western segment's southern end, continue through the trail roundabout onto the South Fork River Trail for a longer trip, or do the same from the eastern segment's southern end via the Santa Clara River Trail.
Parking and restrooms for the San Francisquito Creek Trail are available at Valencia Heritage Park (24155 Newhall Ranch Road) and West Creek Park (24247 Village Circle) in Santa Clarita.
I rode this trail and portions of some of its connectors and it was a lovely ride. I am strictly a recreational rider and these trails meet my needs. They run parallel to what passes for a river in Southern California. The trail is VERY well maintained and marked. It is essentially flat. There was zero trash and graffiti. On one side of the trail is the riverbed and on the other side there are some residential areas, parks, and access to commercial areas if you want to stop. You can go for miles and miles if you hook up with one of the connectors and are so inclined. There are
lovely views of the distant mountains and even a glimpse of Six Flags Magic Mountain. There are different places where it can be accessed. I picked one that was an established trailhead in a retail area with plenty of vehicle traffic so you do not feel that your car is out in the wilderness. But as soon as I hit the trail, I felt like I was away from the city and in a peaceful place. It can be very hot in the Santa Clarita Valley in the summer. There is of course a breeze along the river that varies in intensity. I was there early in the day and it was not an issue. I had to drive some distance to get there and it certainly was worth.
This trail has two parallel sides. We parked at West Creek Park – a lovely park about a mile south of the northern most trailhead on the western section. This beautiful park had nice restrooms, water and plenty of parking. The trail is often lined with a white fence passing through some residential and some commercial areas. The western section is less scenic than the eastern section and passes through more commercial sections. One of the good things about the western section is that it passes a shopping center that has the best breakfast restaurant in Santa Clarita: Eggs N Things. The western section connects to the South Fork Trail and that connects to the eastern section of the San Francisquito Creek Trail so you can easily do a loop ride. The eastern section ends at the same road (Copper Hill Drive) as the western section. It is a short distance over a bridge to connect back to the western section. In between the two segments is dry river bed. The eastern section is much prettier passing through a residential area with greenery planted on the side. Going north on either section is slightly uphill, which means downhill going south! There is a separate pedestrian path and two-lane bike path. The path is smooth, well maintained and very good for running, walking, biking and rolling on anything.
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