Corriganville was one of Southern California’s premier movie ranches, where from the 1930s to the 1970s camera crews shot seemingly everything from film director John Ford’s “Fort Apache” to the TV shows “Sky King” and “Star Trek.” Today it’s a public park, but it still has traces of its Hollywood roots.
1. Start this walk in Simi Valley, taking the Kuehner Drive exit from the westbound 118 Freeway, turning left, and after about two miles turning left again on Smith Road. Drive to the end of the parking lot, and park.
2. Start walking straight ahead, up a wide dirt path, following the “Interpretive Trail” signs directing you toward “Camp Rotary.”
3. As you walk, note the various interpretive signs that indicate indigenous plants, historical points of interests and spots where movies and TV shows were shot. That empty “lake” once hosted scenes from “The African Queen” and “Creature From the Black Lagoon.”
4. Bear left when the trail splits, past a grove of oak trees, aiming toward a group of public toilets and a shaded picnic area.
5. Near the picnic area, turn 90 degrees left. Follow the trail as it descends slightly, and then bends to the left. Head for a sign on the right saying “Corriganville Park.”
6. Look for a drinking fountain and an outdoor amphitheater on the left, as the trail gets steeper.
7. At the saddle, after the trail flattens, turn left. Then continue turning left as you follow the trail around the side of the mountain. Tread carefully as the trail is a little steep here.
8. As the path descends and widens, bear gently left, following a wide dirt path that parallels a gully on the right. Note more interpretive signs here for movies, and TV shows from the cowboy era. John Wayne, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers worked here. The 1950s TV show “Jungle Jim,” starring Johnny Weissmuller, was filmed here too.
9. When you return to the Corriganville Park sign, bear right and follow the path back to Camp Rotary.
10. Turn right as you approach Camp Rotary’s shaded picnic area and retrace your steps back to the parking area.
Distance: 2.5 miles
Difficulty: 3 on a scale of 1 to 5
Duration: 1 1/2 hour
Details: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Ample free street parking. Wheelchair-friendly between parking lot and Camp Rotary. Dogs on a leash are OK.
Fleming is the author of “Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles” and “Secret Walks: A Walking Guide to the Hidden Trails of Los Angeles.” Each month, he leads a free walk at one of his favorite spots in Southern California. Find out more at his Facebook page, Secret Stairs. He can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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