China Flat Trail in Oak Park

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China Flat Trail can be reached off Lindero Canyon Road in Oak Park, between King James Court and Wembly Avenue. The trail sits below Simi Peak, at 2,405 feet, the tallest peak in the Simi Hills.

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My kids particularly enjoy exploring the sandstone caves pictured above and below. Beautiful views abound hiking up here. It does get a little rocky and steep at times so just be aware. It is about two miles to the top, making it about a 4 mile hike. Hike another .8 mile to Simi Peak.

Mysterious caves the kids enjoy exploring.

Mysterious caves the kids enjoy exploring.

Here's a gate near to the top of the trail that tells you you are close to your destination.

Here's a gate near to the top of the trail that tells you you are close to your destination.

Follow the trail to reach the China Flat area.

Follow the trail to reach the China Flat area.

You can also get to China Flat from the   Palo Comado Trail   .

You can also get to China Flat from the Palo Comado Trail.

Sure is pretty up here when it is green!

Sure is pretty up here when it is green!

View from Simi Peak towards Oak Park.

View from Simi Peak towards Oak Park.

Map excerpt courtesy of National Park Service.

Map excerpt courtesy of National Park Service.

Medea Creek Natural Park in Oak Park

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Medea Creek Natural Park has hiking, biking and fitness trails that stretch from Calle Rio Vista and Oaks Hills Drive in Oak Park on the north, then south past Medea Creek Lane and Conifer Street to a cul de sac entrance to the park at the west terminus of Tamarind Street.

Nicely paved Medea Creek Trail north towards Kanan/Oak Park Library

Nicely paved Medea Creek Trail north towards Kanan/Oak Park Library

The paved Medea Creek Trail, great for walks as well as casual bicycling, has a northern entry point at Kanan Road across from Deerhill Road (adjacent to the Oak Park Library). It crosses Sunnycrest Drive, where there is street parking, so you do need to be careful with kids when you cross.

Medea Creek runs through suburbia via this wash, where you will see some neat bird activity.

Medea Creek runs through suburbia via this wash, where you will see some neat bird activity.

The nature loop trail is about 1.5 miles. You will likely see ducks and perhaps other birds enjoying the creek as you choose between the paved and dirt paths. There's also a fitness circuit. It is kind of interesting as you'll see multiple layers of trails; some dirt, some paved, some grassy, some in the creek.

Multiple paths and areas to explore at Medea Creek.

Multiple paths and areas to explore at Medea Creek.

Medea Creek Natural Park is managed by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District www.rsrpd.org/oak_park/parks/medea_creek_park.php.

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Sign at east end terminus of Tamarind StreetFitness course signs along 1.5 mile path.

Sign at east end terminus of Tamarind StreetFitness course signs along 1.5 mile path.

Oak Park Community Center and Gardens

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Oak Park Community Center and Gardens is located at 1000 North Kanan Road, Oak Park. This is a nicely appointed indoor/outdoor facility with a 2,500 sq ft banquet room with a capacity of 140, a half court gym and recreation room and as you can see in this video, a beautifully maintained pond, waterfall, gazebo and outdoor area.  Plenty of parking available too. More information at www.rsrpd.org/oak_park/community_center/index.php or call 818.865.9304.

Palo Comado Canyon to Simi Peak Hike in Oak Park

If you're looking for a challenge, consider hiking from the Palo Comado Canyon Doubletree Road Trailhead to the 2,405 foot elevation Simi Peak in Oak Park. This is about a 4 to 4 1/2 mile trek each way with a 1,200 foot elevation gain to the top that is well worth it if you have the time and the energy.

Mind you, this particular stretch of trail, the Palo Comado Fire Road, I've rarely seen more than a handful of hikers and runners on over the years. I usually see more cyclists up here than anything. Part of the challenge is that it can get pretty hot up here on these trails as most of them get full exposure to the sun. So do bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen unless it happens to be a rare, overcast day. No restrooms either.

A quicker, easier path to the panoramic Simi Peak, the highest point in the Simi Hills, is via the China Flat Trailhead.

So if you're up to the challenge, park your car near the trailhead on Doubletree Road , just east of Clear Haven Drive, in Oak Park. From the 101, take Kanan to Sunnycrest Drive, and make a right. Sunnycrest becomes Doubletree after it veers left. The trailhead is on the right.

About a half mile from the trailhead gets you to the Palo Comado Canyon Trail, where you'll head north (left).

About a half mile from the trailhead gets you to the Palo Comado Canyon Trail, where you'll head north (left).

The Palo Comado Canyon Trail is fire road, so it is nice and wide.

The Palo Comado Canyon Trail is fire road, so it is nice and wide.

Eventually, after a bit of a grueling climb (this hike is not kid friendly if you ask me), you'll reach this corral area. Continue west (left).

Eventually, after a bit of a grueling climb (this hike is not kid friendly if you ask me), you'll reach this corral area. Continue west (left).

Follow the direction of the signs toward the Simi Peak Trail and you're on your way.

Follow the direction of the signs toward the Simi Peak Trail and you're on your way.

Follow the direction of the sign towards Simi Peak. The only challenge is that you have to go with your gut at some point as the signs stop.

Follow the direction of the sign towards Simi Peak. The only challenge is that you have to go with your gut at some point as the signs stop.

The trails get narrower and a bit more technical as you head your way to the peak. Wear good shoes.

The trails get narrower and a bit more technical as you head your way to the peak. Wear good shoes.

You've reached your destination when you see this.

You've reached your destination when you see this.

You are now at Simi Peak, the highest point of the Simi Hills. The round marker on the right is from the Ventura County Surveyor. In background is Lindero Canyon Road headed south.

You are now at Simi Peak, the highest point of the Simi Hills. The round marker on the right is from the Ventura County Surveyor. In background is Lindero Canyon Road headed south.

Fancy, green highlighted map (courtesy National Park Service).

Eagle View Park in Oak Park

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Eagle View Park is located at 1240 Hidden Springs Avenue in Oak Park, near the very top of Lindero Canyon Road. This is a nice little neighborhood park with a basketball court, bike path, recreational trail, picnic tables and play areas. No restroom though! The park is maintained by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District at www.rsrpd.org.

Play area for bigger kids

Play area for bigger kids

Play area for little kids

Play area for little kids

Recreational trail accessible just southeast of the park

Recreational trail accessible just southeast of the park

Rancho Simi Recreation & Park District Community Classes

Rancho Simi Recreation & Park District serves the communities of Simi Valley and Oak Park and offers hundreds and hundreds of classes throughout the year for all ages.  To learn more, check out the latest class catalogs and register online, visit www.rsrpd.org.  Or call 805.584.4400 for more information.