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Rancho Santa Fe Association unveils new trail markers

RSF Association trails committee members
RSF Association trails committee members Deanna Ingalls, Ilia Christy (and her kids) and Jeff Simmons
(with Sam the trail mascot) at the unveiling of the new trail marker.
(Karen Billing)

Warmblood Way, Loping Lane, Canter Canyon, Alfalfa Alley. Rancho Santa Fe trail users will now be able to spot the historically charming names of these newly marked paths as the Rancho Santa Fe Association has installed a new set of trail markers, a step toward making the trail system safer for everyone in the community.

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Warmblood Way, Loping Lane, Canter Canyon, Alfalfa Alley.

Rancho Santa Fe trail users will now be able to spot the historically charming names of these newly marked paths as the Rancho Santa Fe Association has installed a new set of trail markers, a step toward making the trail system safer for everyone in the community.

On Dec. 5, the Association and the trails committee celebrated the unveiling of its first trail marker— a wooden post now marks the entrance to Arabian Alley, the trail by the Association’s maintenance shed that stretches from San Elijo to Avenida de Acacias. After the inaugural marker was unveiled, markers were installed at 14 trails over the last week, one sign at both ends of the trail segment.

Caitlin Kreutz, the Association’s environmental resource coordinator, said the project started in early 2022, headed up by the trails committee that includes chair Rochelle Putnam, Ilia Christy, Cutter Clotfelter, Deana Ingalls, Jeff Simmons and Adam Crecion.

“The trails committee decided they want to put some signage out for safety and coordinating because these trails are notoriously hard to navigate if you don’t know where you are,” Kreutz said.

Ilia Christy, Jeff Simmons and Deana Ingalls and Sam the dog with the new Arabian Alley trail marker.
(Karen Billing)

The 14 trail names (many of them equestrian centered) are not new and have historically been used by the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol. There’s Coyote Canyon on El Mirlo, the Desperado trail by El Vuelo de Este and Gallop Hill, which heads up from El Secreto to the View Trail above the golf course.

Kreutz said the trails committee was integral in identifying trails they wanted to name and in designing the signs, “The trails committee deserves all the credit for this, it was really their idea.”

As Christy said, the committee wanted to start with the most frequently used trails but they are hoping to expand the project with a second round of trail markers. There is also a possibility to add some directional arrows.

“I think it’s a great addition to our trails, I think it’s going to make them safer and I think it’s going to help new community members and young trail users get situated on the trails a little bit better,” Kreutz said.

In total, the Association has about 60 miles of trails dedicated for pedestrians and equestrians (cycling is prohibited) and while the Association doesn’t own the trails, it does maintain the easements on private property. When the Association conducted a survey this spring, the community indicated that the trail system was among the top reasons why they moved into the Covenant and one of the things they were most satisfied with.

“I appreciate all of the committee’s time and great thought behind this,” said RSF Association Manager Christy Whalen with the debut of the first marker. “I think it looks fantastic and we’re excited to unveil all of them.”


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