Short Trail Leads to Grand Escape

June 20, 2013 | 2:57pm

A short path in the southern part of the County measures only ¼ of a mile long but its destination is huge -- Otay Valley Regional Park and 8,500 acres of open space.

The Palm Avenue trail was formally opened during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday and links the community of Otay Nestor to the regional park, which is expected to one day span 13 miles from the coastal area to the Lower and Upper Otay Lakes.  

“This new trail segment will open up Otay Valley Regional Park to South Bay residents and visitors, providing them with incredible recreational opportunities ranging from playing fields and picnic areas to hiking, biking and horse trails,” said San Diego County Board Chairman Greg Cox.

The park runs along the Otay River about four miles north of the Mexican border and is jointly operated by the County, City of Chula Vista and City of San Diego. During Thursday’s ceremony, San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez and Chula Vista Deputy Mayor Pamela Bensoussan joined Chairman Cox in opening this latest addition to the Otay Valley Regional Park system.

County Parks and Recreation worked with the California Conservation Corps to construct the trail and a 500-square-foot vista point. In a first for County Parks, a different construction method was used to reduce maintenance and increase the trail’s longevity. A hardened crushed granite path was installed which looks and feels natural but is slip-resistant and as durable as asphalt.     

The six-month project cost $97,000 with $57,000 of that amount given by private donors through the San Diego Foundation. Lehigh Hanson Aggregates donated 325 cubic yards of crushed stone aggregate and TechniSoil Global Inc. gave more than 1,000 gallons of a hardening agent and the use of a mixer to build the trail. Visitors can find the trail off Palm Ave. and Hollister Street.