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Family-friendlyL.A. County

Walk in the footsteps of Hawkeye and Trapper John on 'MASH' hike in Calabasas

 (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Why: You can almost hear the “MASH” choppers coming over the ridge at Malibu Creek State Park, which features hiking trails to the show’s outdoor site, shady canyons and plentiful creeks and ponds.

What: Malibu Creek State Park, in the Calabasas area north of Los Angeles, offers a vast selection of hiking options, including some that touch TV history and some ranch buildings once owned by Ronald Reagan.

With craggy cliffs, creeks and cool, dark ponds, it invites exploration, and probably appeals more to children than most trail systems do. Along the way, look for bundles of mistletoe hanging from the sycamores.

 (Jenna Schoenefeld / For The Times)
(Jenna Schoenefeld / For The Times)
 (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

For a solid workout, take Crags Road, and walk into a shady valley toward Forest Trail. On the left, the reservoir. Continue on to the filming site for "MASH" (1972-1983). The distance from parking lot to the TV site is about two miles, much of it uphill.

Once there, explore the remnants of one of television's most popular shows, including an old jeep and an ambulance, in a setting that stood in for the show's Korean War exteriors.

On the way back, veer to the right for a tour of Malibu Creek’s water features. The dark ponds are lush and shady and a huge relief from the afternoon heat. It’s a wonderful location for a game of hide and seek, or just a picnic and a nap.

As if that’s not enough, Malibu Creek is also the site of SoCal’s toughest trail run. Bulldog, a fire road located entirely inside the park, climbs nearly 1,800 feet over almost 4 torturous miles. The entrance to Bulldog is off the main trail in the park, Crags Road, just past the "MASH" site.

The park has a rich history, and was once a  busy center of Chumash life. The park was also used to film “Planet of the Apes,” and much of the land was donated by Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan and 20th Century Fox.

Where: 1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, Calif., 34 miles west of downtown L.A., in Los Angeles County. From the 101, exit on Las Virgenes Road, head south to the park entrance just past Mulholland Drive.

How much: Parking $9 for three hours, $12 all day. Note: No dogs on trails.

Info: Malibu Creek State Park  

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