Key link in Coast to Crest Trail opens in Poway
By Pat Kumpan
It might have been 10 years in the making, but extending Poway’s Old Coach Trail by half a mile now creates the first-ever north-south link to the San Dieguito River Park’s Coast to Crest Trail and the Trans-County Trail system.
To commemorate the milestone, Poway City Councilman Jim Cunningham led equestrians and hikers, including city and park employees, on a 10-mile hike Saturday.
“This is the first time a north-south trail (Old Coach Trail) has connected to the Coast to Crest Trail,” Cunningham said. “You could start a hike in Chula Vista and work your way all the way up to Poway and beyond.”
Cunningham and others departed Saturday morning from a trail off Metate Lane via the Poway trail system to reach the dedication ceremony at 12460 Highland Valley Road in Escondido.
The group was welcomed by dignitaries, along with several “Dust Devils,” local volunteers who dedicate their free time to maintaining much of the trail system.
The trail, which winds through part of Evergreen Nursery’s growing grounds, was a collaborative effort between Poway and the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority, said Dick Bobertz, executive director of the river park, during Saturday’s dedication.
The Old Coach Trail originally wound behind Maderas Golf Club in Poway up over a ridge line that works its way toward the nursery on Highland Valley Road.
With Poway’s approval to extend the trail a half-mile, it connects to the existing river park and county trails, according to Cunningham.
Dick Bobertz, executive director of the river park, said as a result, hikers, bikers and equestrians have greater access to 23 miles of river park trails, 14 miles of county trails and another six miles of neighborhood trails throughout Poway.
He added that the Coast to Crest Trail will ultimately have 55 miles of trails, extending from Del Mar to Volcan Mountain, north of Julian, as sections of land are acquired along the route.
Other officials who assisted with the dedication included: Rand Newman, a Poway resident and president of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy; San Diego County Parks Manager Cailin Hunsaker; and former San Diego City Councilman Scott Peters.
After the ceremony, hikers joined ranger Leana Bulay along the new section of trail.
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