FAIRFIELD — An existing Fairfield trail will become a new section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail on Saturday.
The dedication of the 0.7-mile Vintage Valley portion of the Bay Area Ridge Trail will take place at 10 a.m. near the intersection of Abbey Court and Citadel Drive in Green Valley. The event will include snacks and the chance to learn more about the Bay Area Ridge Trail system.
Fairfield Park Planner Fred Beiner said the Vintage Valley trail has existed for several years. It passes through a subdivision along a greenbelt that uses the right of way for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. power poles.
What’s new is it becoming part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. Dee Swanhuyser of the Bay Area Ridge Trail staff called the new segment “small but lovely and important.”
The Bay Area Ridge Trail is an attempt to create a 550-mile trail that loops around the Bay Area. About 340 miles have been designated over the past 25 years, including 4.5 miles in Fairfield and more than 30 miles in Solano County. Walking and bike paths over the Carquinez and Benicia bridges are part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
This latest Fairfield segment is a suburban path that will help fill a gap between trail segments in more rugged, natural areas.
The eastern end of the Vintage Valley Ridge Trail connects with a trail leads into Rockville Hills Park. An existing section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail passes through the 633-acre natural park, with plans to push the trail even farther eastward through the Solano Land Trust’s 1,500-acre Rockville Trails open space area.
More improvements are planned for this eastern segment. Swanhuyser said Fairfield at some point will put in a crosswalk where the trail crosses Green Valley Road.
The western end of the Vintage Valley Ridge Trail is a dead-end in the Green Valley subdivision. Swanhuyser said the trail will someday extend over a yet-to-be-built Red Top Road interchange with Highway 12 in Jameson Canyon and on to McGary Road.
McGary Road, in turn, runs along Interstate 80 into the hills between Fairfield and Vallejo. It leads to the Lynch Canyon and Swett Ranch open space areas, which have several miles of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
But the Vintage Valley Ridge Trail is important now, Swanhuyser said. It’s what she called a “neighborhood connector.”
“It helps complete the planned segments and encourages neighborhoods to want to keep going,” she said. “In the meantime, it serves that community with a wonderful opportunity to be outside near where they live.”
Representatives from the Greenbelt Alliance and Golden Gate National Recreation Area created the Bay Area Ridge Trail project in 1987. The Bay Area Ridge Trail Council in 1992 became a nonprofit organization.
Please go to www.ridgetrail.org for more information on the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.