Hike #4 Rolling Hills Estates
Back behind a quiet, private neighborhood a trail twists along the hills that line the west coast. This trail isn’t accessible to the public, so try to make a few friends in the neighborhood. Once you see the view you won’t mind the tough uphill trek ahead. You won’t even notice the sweat rolling down your face, the fiery feeling in your quads, or the burn of the sun on your back. This picturesque landscape makes up for all of it. Mother Nature is kind to your senses out here.
This trail is perfect for just about anyone: group hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, or even just dog walkers. It is about four miles long and marked well. It begins with a cut out opening at the very end of the neighborhood. As you walk along the gravel path, you will come to a gate requiring a code (fancy shit). From there it’s nothing but crystal clear, ocean views. Sprawling green hills make up the backside of the neighborhood, creating the most stunning backyards for these million dollar homes. I was blown away by the view that day, so I can’t even imagine how the lucky bastards who live here must feel.
… Shout out to the AWESOME group that made this hike happen- Taylor, Bella, Alex, Iggy, Luna, and the family. CRUSHED IT!
Hike #5 Kenneth Hahn Community Loop and Park
Sometimes you can find the most peaceful settings just by exploring your own backyard. About two miles from my apartment in Culver City, a serene escape awaits. Kenneth Hahn Park is beautifully built with easily marked hiking trials, a pond, large open fields, and a Japanese garden with a waterfall to explore. Whether you want to bring your dog for a game of fetch or your entire family out for a picnic by the lake, this park has it all.
Park your car in the lot at the very front of the park (Parking is free Mon- Fri. and $6 Saturday and Sunday). Start with a stroll among the quacking ducks along the pond. You’ll find turtles, swans, tadpoles, and more. Bring a fishing rod and snag a picnic table for the rest of the day. Make the uphill loop at the end of the park, past the visitors center, to Janice’s Green Valley. “The hills are alive with the sound of music” will begin to play in your mind … just go with it.
Make your way counterclockwise around the loop. The path will veer to the right, leading you to the most perfect view of downtown. Don’t miss it!!
Keep walking along the trail and merge onto Diane’s Trail for a more off road hiking experience. You will pass a wide variety of beautiful plants including prickly pear cacti and bamboo. To your left you will see the Inglewood Oil Fields. “Tapping that since 1924.” As you find yourself getting deeper and deeper into the shaded forest, you will come upon a few different overlooks. Autumn’s Peak is the prime location for pictures and astounding views of the city.
Continue along the path (more than likely you are just as lost as I was at this point, but it doesn’t matter because all of the paths end in the same place) “Just keep walking, just keep walking, just keep walking” *Sing this little tune like Dory, from Finding Nemo, sings “Just keep swimming” … hopefully a smile just crossed your face. Anyway, you will eventually come to a small man made waterfall within a Japanese Garden. Stop for a snack and reflect on the last few miles you’ve hiked.
Follow the path over the bridge out to the very beginning of the park. Pull out a blanket and relax in the sun for the rest of the day. You deserve it.