Murrieta residents looking to make good on their New Year’s resolutions to get fit may be in luck.
Miles of walking and hiking trails may soon be available for public use, it was announced during a recent Murrieta City Council meeting.
The Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority (RCA) has agreed to allow use of several segments of trails on the east side of the city near the Los Alamos Hills and Warm Springs Preserve areas, according to Assistant City Manager Jim Holston.
“We have come to an agreement (to) use nonprofits such as Boy Scouts and (other) volunteers so we will be able to open these trails up,” Holston said, in an update to City Council about the progress made by an ad hoc trails committee formed a year ago.
Holston said the committee has been meeting bi-weekly in recent months. During talks with RCA, the city found they would allow access to certain areas of conservation property for use as trails, he said.
“We are not creating new trails, these are existing trails,” Holston said. “People are walking on them today, so us getting involved actually helped that problem.”
As the two entities discussed it further, however, Holston said “we realized there were going to be some issues with maintenance...so we hit a stalemate.”
This was solved with the idea that groups such as the Boy Scouts could contribute, he said.
“There was a lot to cover with RCA...but that has been accomplished.”
The trails committee has also been eying the west side of town—mostly near Murrieta Creek—for potential trails, Holston added.
“The Sierra Club approached the city and said they have received a grant for designing and mapping of the trails to connect Wildomar, Temecula and Murrieta,” Holston said.
It is envisioned that this would eventually include a connection to Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve by way of Tenaja Road, he said.
Holston cautioned the Sierra Club program does not include funding for the construction of any of the trail connections.
The trails committee continues to work on creating an adopt-a-trail program so businesses and nonprofits can be part of the effort, he said.
The trails update was brought to City Council at the request of Councilman Alan Long, who sits on the committee.
“We have been working diligently for a long time,” Long said. “There has been a lot of excitement around what we have been doing.”
Another update is expected within three months, according to Holston.
“We should have some of this stuff resolved by then.”