San Gabriel Valley equestrians and hikers will have a new canyon trail to explore this summer, bordering the Puente Hills landfill, under a project approved Tuesday by the County Board of Supervisors.
Construction of the two-mile-long trail will begin next month on the ridges of two natural canyons near Skyline Trail, the valley's busiest equestrian and hiking trail, according to Jim Park, a planner for the county Department of Parks and Recreation.
Park said the new trail, to be built on land owned by the county Sanitation Districts but never used for garbage disposal, will form a loop whose entry and exit points will link up with Skyline Trail.
Skyline Trail is used every year by thousands of people who travel a popular 10-mile route in the Puente Hills between Whittier Narrows County Park and the Otterbein State Recreation Area near Rowland Heights.
"The real need for equestrians is to get from point A to point B and to put some variety in their ride, so a loop trail gives them something different going from and returning to the main trail," Park said.
"On a clear day, Skyline Trail is spectacular--you can see from Orange County to Mount Baldy. It's real neat up there, and the new trail will take people deeper into the canyon area."
The project is part of the county's policy of turning otherwise unusable landfill property into parks and recreation areas, Park said.
The loop trail will be constructed southeast of the landfill in an area that acts as a buffer between the dump and residential Hacienda Heights. Hacienda Heights residents will be able to reach the new loop from Seventh Avenue, which turns into a feeder trail leading up into the canyons, Park said.
Once the Puente Hills landfill is filled up and closed several years from now, Park said, more trails and recreational activities will be provided on acreage that is now being used to dump garbage and fill dirt.