Irene Christensen, who has lived in La Cañada Flintridge for 41 years, recently discovered parts of the city she had never seen before.
“I’m just awed,” Christensen said during a break in the third annual mayor’s hike near Woodleigh Lane. “If I didn’t have to watch my feet every step of the way I would see more of the landscape. But I think I’d better keep my attention down. It makes me want to investigate the rest of the trails.”
Christensen was one of about 65 people who took part in “Walker’s Walkabout,” named for Mayor Terry Walker, on Saturday. The event kicked off at Flintridge Riding Club at 11 a.m., with the brief timeout about an hour later. During the rest period, hikers could grab bottled water and granola bars or simply socialize with one another.
Walker led the approximately five-mile hike that left the riding club, founded in 1922, and entered Hahamongna Park in Pasadena. The group continued along that route, after crossing Oak Grove Drive and walking beneath a 210 Freeway overpass to the start of the Flint Canyon Trail. After progressing along the canyon trail, the group continued to just below Woodleigh, rested and returned on the same route.
Resident Randy Strapazon helped host the event at the club and showed attendees where to get green commemorative bandanas or bottles of water for the hike. On a table set up for the nonprofit organization Trails Council of La Cañada Flintridge, T-shirts, DVDs of “The Trails of La Cañada Flintridge” and brochures featuring a map of trails in the city were arranged.
One of the participants was Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who said Walker had invited her to participate after they met for breakfast two months ago.
“I love to hike,” Barger said. “And we were talking about trails, and what better way to see them than with the electeds who are asking you to support funding for the trails?”
Pat Anderson, president and CEO of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, said she has attended two previous mayor’s hikes, which were hosted by former mayors Jonathan Curtis and Michael Davitt, both current city councilmen. She said the hikes had varying degrees of difficulty.
“It is really impressive to experience a part of our city that you don’t normally see on a day-to-day basis,” Anderson said. “And it makes us all thankful for the beauty and serenity of what we have here.”
Tom Reynolds, Trails Council president and webmaster, said the path taken Saturday — described as being of moderate difficulty — was the most shaded one available, and those interested in hiking the same route or other paths could visit lcftrails.org/.
“I always recommend this trail for the summer because it’s really good,” said Reynolds, who led the hike with Walker at various points. The website was built in part to show people how many options there are for trails in the city, Reynolds said.
“People don’t realize the network,” said Reynolds, adding there are more than 20 miles for people to hike. He said the council works with L.A. County and the city to help maintain the trails. Reynolds said there were between 350 to 500 members of the Trails Council, whom he defined as people who have contributed $25 or more.
Before the hike, Walker said three-quarters of the trails in the city are L.A. County trails but are managed by the city; the remainder, located in Cherry Canyon, are city owned and maintained. Another trail, known as the Citizen’s Trail, connects Owl Trail to Cherry Canyon Fire Road. It is being refurbished but still is safe for the public to use and will be renamed Seco Creek in the spring.
After the hike, Walker said she was happy with the event because people seemed to enjoy it and told her they had discovered new areas of the city.
“The exposure is kind of what it’s all about,” Walker said. “To show our people what we have.”