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Mast Park West Trail Dedication

City leaders and outdoor enthusiasts came together to celebrate the newest stretch of trail along the San Diego River.

Though walkable since February, the trail is now and 100 percent complete.

In an area that was previously a bucolic labyrinth of trails pounded out by intrepid explorers along the San Diego River, there now stands a handsome-looking, fenced trail. It cuts through the 43-acre Carlton Oaks Preserve, a natural habitat that is "thickly wooded and features nature interpretive signs, benches and scenic views of river ponds with duck and other wildlife," located between Carlton Oaks Boulevard and Carlton Oaks Golf Course.

City leaders, including Councilmembers Rob McNelis and John Minto, outdoor enthusiasts and groups that helped bring about the trail, like the San Diego River Conservancy and the San Diego River Foundation came together on Wednesday afternoon to dedicate the new trail.

Work on this project began in October, and it includes a trail head, a half-mile-long walking trail, shade shelter, an informational kiosk and signs. The project came at no direct cost to the city and was made possible by a $406,000 grant from the state River Parkways Grant Program.

"There were no general fund or tax dollars used for this," said City of Santee Director of Community Services Bill Maertz.

The trail peters out at the Santee city boundary at the Carlton Oaks Golf Course, which is owned by the city of San Diego. Project Manager Steve Miller and Maertz indicated that Santee is working with San Diego and the San Diego River Conservancy to create a trail easement around the course that would connect to , connecting trails along the river from deep East County to the rest of San Diego. Another grant would need to be garnered in order for this to work, according to Miller.

This is all part of the city's conceptual plan, which is a long term plan that involves maximization of public use, flood protection of surrounding areas and the creation of bicycle and pedestrian corridors along both sides of the river.

Motivated Santee Citizen May 12, 2011 at 09:16 PM
It gives the city council a chance to gloat and act as though they are doing something important for the people of Santee. I must admit that it is a start for the trail, but the golf course will NEVER let it cut across their property. Bad planning there I guess. It also gives the homeless and illegal fishing people easier access to the river bottom.
Steven Bartholow May 12, 2011 at 10:07 PM
The plan is to eventually work with San Diego to make a trail that goes around the golf course and connects with Mission Trails. And as far as the homeless having better access, they ran the place before, with their own trails and encampments, and now there will be more people around using the trail, hopefully keeping them from congregating in the area. My two cents.
Motivated Santee Citizen May 13, 2011 at 06:07 AM
Why were the homeless so prevelant down there before? We pay Sheriff's Deputies to take care of this kind of thing. Maybe that is where the new count of 58 homeless came from? Good to know that the trail will go around the golf course and connect to Mission Trails. We need Sheriffs on mountain bikes or small motorcycles to be able to get into these trail areas and parks easier and more often to keep the riff-raff out.
Alyssa May 25, 2011 at 11:22 PM
I agree! Hurry up on the extension to Mission Trails! I'll even help if I know when they plan to work on it :)
Alyssa May 25, 2011 at 11:23 PM
Ha! I know, right?

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