A new bridge is now open on Old Coach Trail in Poway – providing even more access for hiking, biking and horseback riding at the popular scenic trail.
On Sunday, Poway City Councilmember Jim Cunningham posted a photo of himself showing off the new bridge. He said a ribbon cutting ceremony at the site will soon follow, telling NBC 7 on Tuesday that the City of Poway plans to host an official opening ceremony sometime this spring.
According to the San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space Park Joint Powers Authority, the City of Poway recently completed the installation of the new bridge on the Old Coach Trail. It sits over Sycamore Creek.
The San Dieguito River Park says the passageway replaces a bridge that washed out about six years ago during a winter storm.
"This new bridge establishes an official crucial connection between the San Dieguito River Park’s Coast to Crest Trail with the rest of Poway’s trail system and eventually the Trans-County Trail along Poway’s southern border,” the agency wrote in a blog post last month, which included photos of San Dieguito River Park staffers and rangers hiking through the Old Coach Trail and checking out the new bridge.
Cunningham said the bridge is currently open and being used by a number of visitors. For him, the project -- long in the works -- is especially exciting.
"We have been working on replacing the washed out bridge since my first day on Council eight years ago," he told NBC 7.
Cunningham formerly served as the chair of San Dieguito River Park and once hiked the full 70 miles from Volcan Mountain to Del Mar. Back then, he envisioned the completion of the bridge so he and other hikers could enjoy the trail to its full capacity.
"My dream was to complete the bridge to connect Poway, again, to the River Park Trail segments. We can now hike, bike and ride, from Poway to Julian or to the Ocean, without barely touching pavement," he added.
According to this hiking trail tip sheet from the City of Poway, Old Coach Trail runs from Justin’s Trail past the golf course, west to the northern city limits, before it ties into San Dieguito. The trail connects to the West Ridge Trail, and is described as a scenic, wooded route that ventures across creeks.
Old Coach Trail spans approximately four miles and is open to hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders. To access the trail, visitors can park at the Old Coach Staging Area on Highland Valley Road and then walk south toward the beginning of the trail.