Running outdoors has been my hobby and joy for the past 25 years. When I first moved to Santa Clarita in 1985, I ran the same course every day which was up Sierra Highway and back, a total of 5 miles. This got boring after awhile so I started looking for new routes to enjoy. Here, 25 years later, I’m sitting down to write a blog about these exciting nature runs which have made me so happy. My list is in no particular order as I enjoy these outside running locations equally. Here you go
1. Vasquez Rocks: This is a great place to run and see the red and golden slanted rocks of Agua Dulce. Run through the boulders and cactus on your way to the Pacific Crest Trail which is connected to the trails here. Vasquez Park sits just 9 miles from the Sierra Hwy & Soledad intersection. The cost is free to get into the park. There is plenty of parking here and many places to picnic and jog. Take your camera and get some photos while your there. This place always has interesting nature lovers there hiking, climbing or running. The Santa Clarita astronomy club goes here a few times throughout the year to look at the stars.
2. College of the Canyon (Cross Country Track): This college has maintained a beautiful cross country track for years. This rambling running track straddles the hills between the freeway and the football stadium. This is a very challenging course that has many hills. The strong runners who train here will inspire you to give it your best. Try to find a free spot to park here or pay the nominal charge at one of the parking meters. The best way to find the track is to look for behind the football stadium.
3. Valencia Summit Paseos: There are 2 long semi rustic canyon which sprawl between Del Monte and Arroyo Park in Valencia. These long canyons feature two running tracks, one for each canyon that is connected by an inclined series of bridges and walkways that stretch over one of the large mountains which separate the 2 canyons. Run on the paved run tracks here along the creek, oak trees and wildlife. Large estate homes are perched majestically above your as you run. This is a quite scenic run with plenty to look at. If you need to run on the grass, there is a large grassy interior park which you can run around that is very soft. This is a good place to run with your dog as there are many dog lovers in this area. Best to park on Del Monte which is just a 100 feet west of Mc Bean Parkway.
4. South Fork Park Trail : Find Magic Mountain Parkway between Valencia Blvd and Newhall Avenue and park in the large lot by the South Fork Park sign. This place sits 200 yards away from Barnes and Noble and just across the street from the Honda dealership. This is a 2 mile stretch of trail which features and paced section and a dirt path section. These 2 paths are separated by a modern rustic pole fence. This trail sits just above the river wash which makes a beautiful backdrop for your run. This is also a good place to do time trials as it is long and flat and straight. This South Fork Trail also hooks up and is connected to the Valencia paseos in case you need more distance.
5. Stevenson Ranch County Park (Running Track): This huge county park sits in one of the highest areas of Stevenson Ranch. This park is gated and features softball fields, tennis courts and safe playground for the kids. There is a fenced off portion of the park which is like an unofficial dog park. The running track sits at the north end of the park just beyond the horseshoe lanes and basketball court. The running/walk track is about 1/4 mile around. It has a view of the area as well as a view of the Santa Monica Conservancy Mountains which are green, gold and filled with beautiful boulder formations. This is a good park for running when you have the family with you as there is something for everyone to do while they are here.
Well, there you are. This is my top 5 list for outdoor runs in Santa Clarita. Hope to see you out there hitting the pavement. Happy Running!