The City of Escondido has been awarded $8.5 million from the California Parks Department to fund the Escondido Creek Trail Expansion and Renovation Project.
These funds, made available through the Prop 68 Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program, will bring to life the community’s vision for revitalizing the Escondido Creek Trail and turning it into a premier linear park.
In August 2019, the State Parks Department received 478 project applications requesting $2.3 billion in funding. The amount requested greatly exceeded the $254.9 million available in this funding cycle, highlighting the statewide need and underscoring how competitive this grant was.
Of the 478 project applications, only 62 projects were awarded, for a total of $254,942,000 in grants statewide. The Escondido Creek Trail was one of only nine projects funded at the maximum $8.5 million level and only one of three projects funded in San Diego County.
The Escondido Creek Trail Expansion and Renovation project will improve about 4.5 miles of the existing Escondido Creek Trail (between Harmony Grove Road and Midway Drive) and add about 0.4 miles of new bicycle path (between Harmony Grove Road and the Citracado Parkway extension) to the linear park.
This project will create a double-sided trail on about 1.7 miles; on one side will be the existing Class I bicycle path, on the other will be a new deconstructed granite (DG) trail. Currently the City owns land on both sides of the Escondido Creek, but only one side is open to the public.
Opening the closed side, removing asphalt and building a firm surface path, and adding natural and recreational features will add about 1.7 miles of new trail and 2.5 acres of parkland, in the heart of Escondido’s disadvantaged community area.
In addition to improving the existing paved path, the creation of a new DG trail will create separation between pedestrians and wheeled users. Additional improvements include the following:
– New fencing
– Decorative and informative wayfinding signage
– Landscaping and pocket gardens
– Children’s play areas