Nearly 27 miles of new trails coming to Catalina Island

The latest, and likely last, major expansion of trails on Catalina Island will give visitors plenty of options to cut a path through the island’s oft-neglected backcountry.

The expansion began Oct. 14 with the start of Trekking Catalina, a plan to add nearly 27 miles of new trails throughout the island’s backcountry. The new pathways will be scattered along the island’s existing trails, creating smaller loops out of major hiking thoroughfares like the Trans-Catalina Trail. It’s a perk for the visitors looking to take advantage of the 42,000 acres of open space on the island, said Tony Budrovich, president and CEO of the Catalina Island Conservancy.

“The island has a good percentage of hiking trails on it, but it’s a tough island to hike,” he said.

The expansion is the largest trails project since 2009, when the more than 37-mile Trans-Catalina Trail opened, and it will likely be the last major expansion of trails on the island, Budrovich said.

The ideal schedule would see all the trails open by next summer, but weather and other factors during the construction phase could delay that date. In addition to the new trails, the conservancy has funding to install five restrooms in the island’s open space for visitors, and with additional money that could increase to eight facilities, Budrovich said.

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