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Citrus Heights celebrates start of new 2.9-mile trail project

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Nov. 1 at Arcade Creek Park Preserve. From left to right: Sunrise Recreation & Parks District Administrator Dave Mitchell, Mayor Porsche Middleton, Assemblymember Ken Cooley, Congressman Ami Bera, City Manager Ashley Feeney and Orangevale Recreation & Parks District Administrator Barry Ross.

By Sara Beth Williams–
The City of Citrus Heights celebrated the groundbreaking of the long-anticipated Arcade-Cripple Creek trail project on Tuesday with a ceremony held at Arcade Creek Park Preserve.

The groundbreaking was attended by multiple city and state officials, and representatives from many neighborhood and city organizations. Both state and local officials spoke in front of a small gathering Tuesday morning under a blanket of clouds, expressing gratitude and excitement for the kick-off of the Arcade-Cripple Creek trail project.

According to an event flyer, the project is the result of years of collaboration between the City of Citrus Heights, Sunrise Park and Recreation District, Orangevale Park and Recreation District, San Juan Unified School District facilities teams, SMUD, and other stakeholders.

“This is certainly a legacy project,” California Assemblymember Ken Cooley said. “What an investment in the future.”

The 2.9-mile multi-use trail will provide bicycle and pedestrian facilities for residents, mostly following an existing SMUD overhead transmission corridor between Arcade Creek Park Preserve and Wachtel Way in Citrus Heights. The trail will run through six Citrus Heights parks and a small portion will travel through two parks in Orangevale.

Dave Mitchell, Sunrise Park and Recreation District administrator, said he was “excited” to partner with the city on the project, and Orangevale Park and Recreation District Administrator Barry Ross called it a “happy” day to celebrate the start of the project.

The project has not been without its obstacles, including pandemic-related delays, finding necessary funding, inflation, and opposition from some residents, Ross said.

Many speakers throughout the morning echoed the benefits of having access to walking and biking trails. City Manager Ashley Feeney said natural spaces and trails are “critical to quality of life and our general well-being.”

Locally, the trail will connect to other existing trails, including a walking and biking trail that runs through Arcade Creek Park Preserve, and a nearly-completed trail that runs through Mitchell Village. When counting the existing park preserve and trail through Mitchell Village, the total trail length is over four miles long, as the 2.9-mile length measures the distance of new trail to be created.

Related: New 23-acre nature park, trail in Citrus Heights nearing completion

The Arcade-Cripple Creek trail is part of the Sacramento Area Council of Government (SACOG) Regional Trail Network and is anticipated to be a step in a regional plan to ultimately connecting to the American River parkway.

According to a map on, the American River Parkway system of trails runs from Folsom Lake, around Lake Natomas, and then along the American River through to Discovery Park, ending in Old Sacramento.

“These are the types of projects that we should be advocating for, so that we can continue to make Sacramento, Citrus Heights, our region, the best place to live, to work and to raise our families,” said U.S. Congressman Ami Bera.

Feeney ended the morning’s speeches by thanking stakeholders by name who have supported the trail project from its inception and throughout the planning process, emphasizing that the city could not accomplish these “community-enhancing’ projects, without their support and partnership.

“We are grateful for their collaboration,” Feeney said.

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