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City of Santa Clarita Press Release

Stay Safe on the Trails This Summer!

By City Manager Ken Striplin

As the temperatures rise and schools are out for summer break, many families and outdoor enthusiasts turn to our 13,000 acres of open space trails to enjoy a day out in nature. However, hiking during the summer months can present its own set of challenges. From scorching heat to run-ins with wildlife, our residents must prioritize their safety to ensure a fun day on the trails. Whether you are going on an outdoor adventure with your family or friends, or taking a scenic tour on your mountain bike, be sure to follow these safety tips on your next trip. 

Before hitting the trail, take precautions to secure your vehicle and protect your belongings. Always park in designated parking areas and lock your car doors and windows to deter theft. Avoid leaving valuables, such as electronics, wallets or purses, visible inside the vehicle. Instead, stow them in the trunk or out of sight to reduce the risk of break-ins.

Choose lightweight, breathable clothing that offers protection from the sun. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics and light colors. Wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with a high SPF will help shield yourself from harmful UV rays. Don’t forget to wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good traction to handle uneven trails without slipping.

Summer hikes often mean high temperatures and increased exertion, which makes you susceptible to dehydration. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after your hike. Always carry extra water as well as a snack, and if you’re planning on a longer journey, consider electrolyte-replenishing drinks. If you’re hiking with children and teens, ensure they drink water regularly to prevent heat-related illnesses.

While you’re out on the trail, remember that you are in the home of our local wildlife like rattlesnakes, bobcats and coyotes. If you’re going on a run or hiking while listening to music, only keep one headphone in so you can listen for warning sounds such as a snake rattle. Be mindful of your surroundings as wildlife can easily blend in with their environments. Stay safe by scanning the ground as you walk along the trail.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or a novice, it’s essential to know your limits and hike within your abilities. Choose trails that match your fitness level and experience, and take breaks as needed to rest and refuel. Pace yourself and listen to your body—if you start feeling fatigued or unwell, it’s okay to turn back or take a shorter route.

Hiking in Santa Clarita offers endless opportunities for fun adventures and exploration, but it’s essential to prioritize safety every step of the way. By planning ahead, staying hydrated, hiking with a friend and being mindful of the weather and wildlife, we can all enjoy a safe and memorable outdoor experience. So, lace up your hiking boots, hit the trails and enjoy our open spaces! To learn more about our open spaces and trail locations, visit HikeSantaClarita.com.

Ken Striplin is the City Manager for the City of Santa Clarita and can be reached at kstriplin@santaclarita.gov.

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