Plan to build Gonzales Canyon connecting trail makes progress

The last trail link from Gonzales Canyon to the San Dieguito River Valley may finally materialize. The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board was told Feb. 9 that the missing link may be built by the fall of this year.

“We’re moving forward with it and it looks like it will work,” said Rick Thompson, city trail manager.

Once the trail is finished, people will be able to start at the Gonzales Canyon trailhead across from Torrey Highlands Dog Park and walk all the way through the canyon out to the river valley. The trail link will be built using Facilities Benefit Assessment funds.

Making the connection has been a challenge because the trail ends abruptly on the private property of Cavallo Farms, which is being converted into a horse ranch. The property owners had concerns about liability and did not want people on their property.

On a field trip last June, the board learned how valuable a connection it is — the western part of Gonzales Canyon that edges Cavallo Farms is a restored habitat, lush with sycamores and native plants such as jumping cactus.

Thompson said he and City Planner Laura Bell mapped out the new trail link’s alignment last week. The trail will go around Cavallo and avoid the steep levels of the SDG&E trail. It will then connect with trails created by Rancho Valley Farms, an incoming Pardee Homes development of 10 homes on a 41-acre site at the top of Old El Camino Real.