Paramount Ranch Recreation Area in Agoura

NOTE: PARAMOUNT RANCH SUSTAINED DEVASTATING DAMAGE IN THE WOOLSEY FIRE OF NOVEMBER 2018. It was was re-opened to the public on December 3, 2018.

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 Paramount Ranch Western Town Aerial View (Courtesy NPS)

Paramount Ranch Western Town Aerial View (Courtesy NPS)

Paramount Ranch is located in Agoura off of Cornell Road, between Kanan Road and Mulholland.  Click here for a map in a pdf file on the National Park Service website.

Paramount Pictures originally purchased 2,700 acres here for use as a "movie ranch" in 1927 and since then, hundreds of movies and TV shows have been filmed there.  A permanent western town was built there in the early 1950s using old Paramount Pictures props.  You can walk freely around the buildings (but you can't walk inside them).  This is a site to behold for any fans of old movies.

 Before the Woolsey Fire of November 2018.

Before the Woolsey Fire of November 2018.

 The Western Town sign and bridge is still there but most everything surrounding it is burnt after the Woolsey Fire of November 2018.

The Western Town sign and bridge is still there but most everything surrounding it is burnt after the Woolsey Fire of November 2018.

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 Western Town at Paramount Ranch destroyed in the Woolsey Fire.

Western Town at Paramount Ranch destroyed in the Woolsey Fire.

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 A beacon of hope. Two structures were unharmed in the Woolsey Fire - this church building seen in the TV series “Westworld” and the train station.

A beacon of hope. Two structures were unharmed in the Woolsey Fire - this church building seen in the TV series “Westworld” and the train station.

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A list of movies filmed at Paramount Ranch is here.  These include films like The Last Outlaw (Gary Cooper), The Virginian (Gary Cooper), Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn (Jackie Coogan), Million Dollar Legs (W.C. Fields), Adventures of Marco Polo, Remember  the Night (Barbara Stanwyck) and many more.  From 1992 to 1997, the TV show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (featuring Jane Seymour) was filmed there.

In addition to the western town, there are restrooms, picnic areas and plenty of hiking trails at the park.  Please be very careful around the set as these are one of a kind and very old.  More information at www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/paramountranch.htm or call the NPS at 805.370.2301.

Rocky Oaks Nature Reserve in the Malibu Hills

Rocky Oaks was destroyed by the fast-moving Woolsey Fire of November 2018 and the park will be closed until further notice. Updates will be posted by the NPS at www.nps.gov/samo/index.htm.

 Not a great photo but a view of Rocky Oaks from Kanan Road on 11/25/18. Burnt to a crisp.

Not a great photo but a view of Rocky Oaks from Kanan Road on 11/25/18. Burnt to a crisp.

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Rocky Oaks is a 250 acre nature reserve that is part of the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, located at the 31500 block of Mulholland Highway in Malibu, west of Kanan Road. The entrance is on the north side of Mulholland Highway. The park is managed by the National Park Service.

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Rocky Oaks has various species of oak trees, some centuries old. The Overlook Trail takes you to a peak with gorgeous panoramic views while the Pond Trail (less than a mile round trip) takes you to a seasonal pond area which used to be part of a cattle ranch.

The Rocky Oaks Loop Trail is a 2.2 mile easy trail that is lined with sage. This is one of the more low key, easy to hike areas around town. It can get hot but at only 6 miles from PCH you can also feel some nice ocean breezes in these trails.

Learn more about Rocky Oaks and download a trail map at www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/rockyoaks.htm.

 Pond is looking quite nice in late spring of 2017.

Pond is looking quite nice in late spring of 2017.

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America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College

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Don't want to drive 45 minutes to the nearest zoo?  Well then, stop by local Moorpark College to visit the student-run America's Teaching Zoo

This five acre zoo housing nearly 200 exotic animals is part of the college's Exotic Animal Training and Management Program and is open each weekend from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding holidays).  This interesting collection has included all sorts of animals, like alligators, geckos, elephants, emus, tigers, camels, snakes, ocelots and more. Animal show times at 12 pm and 2 pm. Animal demonstrations from 3:30-4 pm.

 Galapagos Tortoise at America's Teaching Zoo

Galapagos Tortoise at America's Teaching Zoo

Students in the program are required to work most days and weekends.  For a truly unique wild animal experience, stop by and check it out. Don't expect anything fancy. This is a very low key place, but lots of fun as it is usually not very crowded and you can get really close to the animals. This huge Galapagos Tortoise is Clarence. Learn more about him here.

The zoo is open on weekends with an admission fee of $8 for adults and $6 for kids and seniors (checks and cash only). Under age 2 is free.

Visit zoo.moorparkcollege.edu or call 805.378.1441 for more information.

 Another handsome occupant of the zoo - “Ghost,” the bald eagle.

Another handsome occupant of the zoo - “Ghost,” the bald eagle.

The Zoo is located at 7075 Campus Road in Moorpark.  Take the 101 North to the 23 North to the 118 East.  Exit Collins and turn left at the stop sign.  Go through 2 stoplights and turn right into the 2nd entrance past the stoplights.  Turn right in the parking lot and continue up the short hill to the right.

 A zoo volunteer feeding the lion.

A zoo volunteer feeding the lion.

Peter Strauss Ranch in Agoura Hills

NOTE: PETER STRAUSS RANCH SUSTAINED MAJOR DAMAGE IN THE WOOLSEY FIRE OF NOVEMBER 2018 AND WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. CHECK THEIR WEBSITE FOR UPDATES. WE WILL ALSO STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES.

 Peter Strauss Ranch sign on Kanan Road southbound before Troutdale.

Peter Strauss Ranch sign on Kanan Road southbound before Troutdale.

The 64 acre Peter Strauss Ranch is located at the juncture of Troutdale Drive and Mulholland Highway in Agoura Hills. The property is managed by the National Park Service (NPS) and is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. It features a ranch house, .6 mile hiking trail, restrooms and an amphitheater area.

 Parking lot access off of Mulholland Highway on northeast side of ranch.

Parking lot access off of Mulholland Highway on northeast side of ranch.

The Ranch has quite a history. According to the NPS, auto manufacturer Harry Miller bought the ranch at the turn of the 20th century as his weekend retreat. He built many of the structures on the site in the 1920s, including the stone ranch house, lookout tower and aviary.  He lost the ranch in the Depression.

Warren Shobert and Arthur Edeson purchased the ranch in the 1930s and created “Shoson”—a fairyland of charm and a paradise for children and adults. Later, a dam was constructed on Triunfo Creek, creating a small lake. The resort was renamed “Lake Enchanto.” Competition from other, larger amusement parks and resorts led to the decline of “Lake Enchanto.” It fell into disrepair and closed around 1960.

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Actor Peter Strauss purchased the property in 1976, restored the site, lived there until 1983, and later sold it to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.  The NPS purchased the ranch in 1987 and the site will be preserved as part of our local natural and cultural history.

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Here is the ruins of the 640,000 gallon Lake Enchanto pool on the Peter Strauss Ranch site. The pool is said to be the largest of its kind west of the Rockies.

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More on the history of the Peter Strauss Ranch at peterstrauss.net/storyofranch.html.

Visit the NPS Peter Strauss Ranch page at www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/straussranch.htm.

Charmlee Wilderness Park in Malibu

NOTE: CHARMLEE WILDERNESS PARK SUSTAINED MAJOR DAMAGE IN THE WOOLSEY FIRE OF NOVEMBER 2018 AND WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. CHECK THEIR WEBSITE FOR UPDATES. WE WILL ALSO STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES.

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Charmlee Wilderness Park is a 532 acre park located at 2577 Encinal Canyon Road in Malibu, just 15 miles from the Conejo Valley. It is located within the Santa Monica Mountains. There are over eight miles of hiking trails, a nature center, picnic areas and more. Park hours are 8 a.m. to sunset and the nature center is open on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (or dark, whichever comes first). Parking is available for $4.

Visit the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority website at mrca.ca.gov/parks/park-listing/charmlee-wilderness-park for more information, trail maps and more or call 310.457.7247.

To get there from the Conejo Valley, take the 23 (Westlake Boulevard/Decker Canyon Road) toward the ocean and turn left on Lechusa Road. Continue on Encinal Canyon Road and look for the sign on the right.

Photos below courtesy of Suzy Demeter Photography.

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Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park is closed until further notice due to the November 2018 Woolsey Fire. State Parks lost some structures, such as employee residences, the historic Sepulveda Adobe, Red House, White Oak Barn and Reagan Ranch. For the latest information on how the wildfires have impacted state parks, visit www.parks.ca.gov/newsroom

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Malibu Creek State Park is accessible in Calabasas, at 1925 Las Virgenes Road, south of Mulholland. The park contains over 8,000 acres of rugged, beautiful hills, trails and scenery. It stretches from Agoura Hills down to Malibu, down to Malibu Lagoon State Beach, covering much of the 25 mile Malibu Creek that flows from Boney Mountain down to the Lagoon. Malibu Creek is the only stream channel that crosses through the Santa Monica Mountain range.

There are three natural preserves in the park, Liberty Canyon, Udell Gorge and Kaslow, which protect Valley Oaks, rare plants and volcanic formations.

Things to do in Malibu Creek State Park include hiking, running, biking, camping, picnicking, fishing and checking out the wildlife. There are over 35 miles of trails and fire roads throughout the park. A fun added bonus is the old M*A*S*H series set, filmed from 1972 to 1983, that resides there.

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Malibu Creek SP contains roughly three dozen different trails, many easy, and some...extraordinarily challenging. such as the Bulldog trail, taking you to 2,500 foot peaks with panoramic views out to the ocean and surrounding peaks and valleys.

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Parking for the day at Malibu Creek State Park is currently $12, or you can park at the corner of Mulholland and Las Virgenes and make your way into the park via the Grassland Trail. The park has 62 campsites and 4 RV sites. Visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=614 for more information.

 The old M*A*S*H site is about 2 1/2 miles from the parking area.

The old M*A*S*H site is about 2 1/2 miles from the parking area.

 M*A*S*H site with plenty of picnic tables

M*A*S*H site with plenty of picnic tables

 The Visitor Center is only a 10 minute walk from the parking lot and is generally open from noon to 4pm on weekends.

The Visitor Center is only a 10 minute walk from the parking lot and is generally open from noon to 4pm on weekends.

There's also an interesting visitor center about 1/2 mile from the main entrance to the park. It is open on Saturday/Sunday from noon to 4pm, subject to availability of docents. Worth a stop as there are some neat things to see in there, including wildlife and rocks/artifacts and other useful information. You can also purchase drinks in there as well as a small assortment of other items.

Hike to the Rock Pool at Malibu Creek State Park!

Century Lake Hike at Malibu Creek State Park

Chumash Indian Museum / Oakbrook Regional Park

NOTE: MUSEUM AND PARK TEMPORARILY CLOSED AS A RESULT OF DAMAGE SUSTAINED FROM THE WOOLSEY FIRE IN NOVEMBER 2018. CHECK THE WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE FOR UPDATES.

Reported 11/11/18: Oakbrook Park sustained fire damage and the replica Chumash village was completely lost. However, a majority of the oak trees survived.

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Located in Lang Ranch at the top of Westlake Boulevard near Avenida de los Arboles at 3290 Lang Ranch Parkway, Thousand Oaks, the Chumash Interpretative Center / Chumash Indian Museum contains Chumash artifacts and historical items, nature walks and tours of the beautiful local Oakbrook Regional Park area.  The museum is open Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. Admission price is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors 65+ and $3.00 for children under 12. There is no charge to walk the trails in the park.

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The Chumash Indian Museum is located on a historical Chumash village site and contains a large collection of Chumash artifacts.

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Stroll around the 436 acre Oakbrook Regional Park, a Ventura County historical landmark #90 (designated in 1983). 

Contact the Center for more information about these and other events, field trips, weddings and birthday parties at www.chumashmuseum.org or 805.492.8076.

To protect the wildlife, dogs are not allowed here.

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Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail

NOTE: The entire 109 acres were burned in the Thomas Fire of December 2017 and the trail was closed as a result. It has since re-opened as volunteers work to rebuild the garden.

There is now an admission price of $7 per person Wed through Sun. Kids are free. Tuesdays are also free. Annual memberships are also available, which allow for unlimited free admission; $45 per person, $75 for families.

Additionally, dogs are allowed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only and must be on leash.

 Trails are intact but the plants were devastated by the Thomas Fire. Replanting and re-growth is in process.

Trails are intact but the plants were devastated by the Thomas Fire. Replanting and re-growth is in process.

The Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail is a nearly 1 mile trail between Ventura City Hall and Grant Park. It opened in October 2012. The trail zig zags and meanders its way up to Grant Park, offering awesome views of downtown Ventura and the coastline. The trail is accessible behind Ventura City Hall, located at 567 South Poli Street. Take the driveway on the right side of City Hall (facing the building) and drive up to the parking area.

 Access to the trail is on the right (east) side of Ventura City Hall.

Access to the trail is on the right (east) side of Ventura City Hall.

 There's a parking area at the bottom of the trail behind Ventura City Hall

There's a parking area at the bottom of the trail behind Ventura City Hall

Funds continue to be raised to enhance the Demonstration Trail, provide for trail maintenance and augment it with a new trail and ultimately build a visitor center. Learn more at www.venturabotanicalgardens.com.

 The trail is decorated with pretty wildflowers and other California native plants

The trail is decorated with pretty wildflowers and other California native plants

 There are some neat rock walls on sections of the trail

There are some neat rock walls on sections of the trail

 A short walk will get you some pretty views!

A short walk will get you some pretty views!

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Bark Park Trail in Calabasas

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The Calabasas "Bark Park" is located at 4232 Las Virgenes Road. To get there from the 101, take Las Virgenes Road south just under a mile. The entrance is on the left (east). If you're going fast, it is easy to miss it. It's a nice, local dog park open 5am to 9pm with a plenty of space for the doggies as well as a separate gated kids' play area and plenty of parking.

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Trailhead to the Bark Park Trail is on the north side of the park.On the north side of the park is the trailhead to the Bark Park Trail, a 1.2 mile climb that links you up with the New Millenium Loop Trail. Round trip you're talking about a 2 1/2 mile hike.

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It is a nicely maintained trail with a steady, uphill climb, which means that the way back is a lot quicker than the way up. I would call it a moderate climb for the most part. A good walk to take the kids on. But it can get a bit hot up here, so bring water and sunscreen on summer days.

 Trail sign at the junction of Bark Park Trail and New Millennium Loop Trail.

Trail sign at the junction of Bark Park Trail and New Millennium Loop Trail.

As you can see from the sign, there's a lot more exploring you can do on these nicely maintained trails in Calabasas.

 A view of the Bark Park from the trail above.

A view of the Bark Park from the trail above.

A view of the Bark Park from the trail above.More on the Bark Park at www.cityofcalabasas.com/recreation/barkpark.html.

Ranch Overlook Trail in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa in Newbury Park

 Trailhead to the Ranch Overlook Trail starts at the juncture of Sycamore Canyon Fire Road (paved road that runs through Point Mugu State Park) and the access bridge to the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center.

Trailhead to the Ranch Overlook Trail starts at the juncture of Sycamore Canyon Fire Road (paved road that runs through Point Mugu State Park) and the access bridge to the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center.

 This is the bridge heading the other direction from the Ranch Overlook Trail sign leading to the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center.

This is the bridge heading the other direction from the Ranch Overlook Trail sign leading to the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center.

The one mile Ranch Overlook Trail is located in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa in Newbury Park.

The trail extends from just west of the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center to the Palomino Trail in the Rancho Potrero Open Space.

The trail is about two wide and you’ll find hikers, runners, cyclists and equestrians all sharing it. The east portion is moderately flat, leading to a moderate hill. At the peak, you’ll have nice views toward the Rancho Sierra Vista main parking area and adjacent ranch structures as well as towards Boney Mountain.

Continue west down the trail to a juncture where you can either veer right towards the parking area and road into Rancho Sierra Vista, or you can continue straight until the next juncture. At the next juncture, if you take a left, you’ll soon be transitioning from Federal land (Rancho Sierra Vista) to Conejo Open Space land (Rancho Potrero). Though you won’t find a trail sign that indicates this, the trail that continues westward is the Palomino Trail.

Do be mindful of rattlesnakes back here. They want nothing to do with you, so if you come across one crossing the trail, let them make their way across.

 The “peak” of the Ranch Overlook Trail, looking southeast towards Satwiwa and Boney.

The “peak” of the Ranch Overlook Trail, looking southeast towards Satwiwa and Boney.

 Peak of Ranch Overlook Trail, looking down towards main Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa parking area and restrooms.

Peak of Ranch Overlook Trail, looking down towards main Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa parking area and restrooms.

 This is west of the peak of the Ranch Overlook Trail, a downhill section that takes you towards Rancho Potrero.

This is west of the peak of the Ranch Overlook Trail, a downhill section that takes you towards Rancho Potrero.

 This sign is at the bottom of the west side of the Ranch Overlook Trail, facing east, if you opt to take the trail counter-clockwise from the parking area.

This sign is at the bottom of the west side of the Ranch Overlook Trail, facing east, if you opt to take the trail counter-clockwise from the parking area.

 This ancient oak tree is adjacent to the Ranch Overlook Trail sign near the parking lot access. This was taken in September 2018. The large branch broke off earlier that summer. In the background is the parking area.

This ancient oak tree is adjacent to the Ranch Overlook Trail sign near the parking lot access. This was taken in September 2018. The large branch broke off earlier that summer. In the background is the parking area.

 This is the Palomino Trail in the adjacent Rancho Potrero Open Space, looking east towards Rancho Sierra Vista, in June 2018. These areas do green up after the winter rains in the April/May time frame….but dry up fast.

This is the Palomino Trail in the adjacent Rancho Potrero Open Space, looking east towards Rancho Sierra Vista, in June 2018. These areas do green up after the winter rains in the April/May time frame….but dry up fast.

Santa Rosa Loop Hike in Wildwood Park

The Santa Rosa Loop Hike in Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks is a 6 1/2 mile trek with moderately challenging uphills and downhills. You’ll be reward with beautiful views of the Conejo Valley and Santa Rosa Valley.

Start at the main Wildwood trailhead at the west end of Avenida de Los Arboles. Take the main Mesa Trail towards Lizard Rock. You'll soon reach the Santa Rosa Trail sign, which points you north.

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 As you crest the hill, follow the arrows toward the Lower Santa Rosa Trail.

As you crest the hill, follow the arrows toward the Lower Santa Rosa Trail.

Views of Santa Rosa Valley

So you're heading east and almost feeling like maybe you're getting lost, but this indeed is the Santa Rosa Trail. Just stay towards the left. It is single track much of the way over here. Then, you'll see the following sign as you get closer to the bottom of the Santa Rosa Valley.

So now you are zig zagging down the Shooting Star Trail, which eventually merges into the Lower Santa Rosa Trail.

Now you're going to turn left (west) on Lower Santa Rosa Trail for some gentle slopes alongside private residences and farms in the Santa Rosa Valley for about a mile or so.

 Some old farming equipment on the side of the Lower Santa Rosa Trail.

Some old farming equipment on the side of the Lower Santa Rosa Trail.

Then soon you come to the end of the trail and there's a sign that tells you to get back into Wildwood Park via the Box Canyon Trail, take the road up ahead 4/10ths of a mile. You're actually in Camarillo now on Rocky High Road.

 The trail ends at the juncture of Talal Ct (private) and Rocky High Road.

The trail ends at the juncture of Talal Ct (private) and Rocky High Road.

At the end of the short stretch of road is the trailhead back into Wildwood Park.

And soon you'll see the Box Canyon Trail sign. Veer left (although I think if you go right it loops around to the main trail also).

Box Canyon Trail Sign

It's about a 300 foot climb over less than half a mile up the Box Canyon Trail that gets you back to the main Mesa Trail artery in Wildwood Park. Take your time...you're almost there!

Box Canyon Lizard Rock Sign Wildwood Park

Then you'll see the Lizard Rock / Box Canyon sign that signifies you are back at the Mesa Trail to head about half a mile back to the parking lot. Or turn right to check out the views from Lizard Rock before you go.

To see a map of this hike, visit www.cosf.org/website/html/santa-rosa-loop.html.

OK, so if you're looking to take a break and sit back and enjoy the view near the juncture of the Mesa Trail and Box Canyon Trail?  Then head back (west) from the "Lizard Rock/Box Canyon" trail sign above toward Box Canyon and take the trail on the left to the Box Canyon Overlook, where you will find the following place to park your rear end. Not a bad view, eh?

 Bench at Box Canyon Overlook

Bench at Box Canyon Overlook

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park consists of 5 of the 8 Channel Islands off the Santa Barbara coast. Although the islands are close to the shore, their isolation has left them relatively undeveloped.

The northern Channel Islands are Anacapa (1.1 sq mi), San Miguel (14.6 sq mi), Santa Cruz (96.5 sq mi) and Santa Rosa (83 sq mi) and the southern islands are San Clemente (57 sq mi), San Nicolas (23 sq mi), Santa Barbara (1 sq mi) and Santa Catalina (75 sq mi).

Channel Islands National Park includes the islands of San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara. Anacapa is located in Ventura County while the other four are in Santa Barbara County. San Clemente Island, the southernmost Channel Island, is owned and operated by the U.S. Navy. Catalina Island as we know with its population of 3,700 is a popular tourist destination. San Nicolas Island in Ventura County is also controlled by the U.S. Navy. On a clear day you can see two of the five islands, Anacapa and Santa Cruz.

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Visitors to the islands may swim, snorkel, hike, camp, watch wildlife, sail and explore tidepools, beaches and canyons. There is no food service on the islands, so bring what you need. Take a commercial service to the islands like Island Packers, which has been servicing the islands since 1968. Landings at Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands are year-round while the more remote outer islands, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa and San Miguel are scheduled late spring through early fall.

Visit the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/chis to learn more about visiting Channel Islands National Park. The park is open year-round.

The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park is located in the Ventura Harbor at 1901 Spinnaker Drive (805.658.5730) and the Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center is located at the Santa Barbara Harbor at 113 Harbor Way, 4th Floor.

 On a clear day you can see two of the Channel Islands from Newbury Park and other Ventura County spots. Here's a view from the   Rancho Potrero Open Space   in Newbury Park.

On a clear day you can see two of the Channel Islands from Newbury Park and other Ventura County spots. Here's a view from the Rancho Potrero Open Space in Newbury Park.

 Anacapa Island seen from a whale watching boat.

Anacapa Island seen from a whale watching boat.

Lake Eleanor Open Space Hike in Westlake Village

For a nice, fairly moderate hike in Westlake Village, take Triunfo Canyon Road south to Highgate Road and head up to the southeast endpoint of Highgate, past Hillsbury Road, to the end of the road, where you'll see a trailhead sign.

It doesn't actually say "Lake Eleanor Open Space Hike" but this is indeed the way to get to this trail maintained by the Conejo Open Space Foundation (COSF).  Walk past the fence on the pavement, and in about 60 steps, the trailhead is on the right. There's no sign. In fact, I've never seen any signs indicating which way to go on this trail. But once you reach this path, for the most part the trail is pretty obvious. COSF has some helpful images and a trail map at www.cosf.org/website/html/lake-eleanor-open-space-hike.html.

There are some brief, slightly challenging hilly sections on this hike, along with some rocky sections, but for the most part, this trail is perfectly fine for all ages. I generally wouldn't recommend strollers on this trail though because of these sections, but if you have a solid off-road stroller, it is possible.

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 After record rainfalls in January/February 2017, this place is looking quite green.

After record rainfalls in January/February 2017, this place is looking quite green.

On the left you'll see the beautiful Las Virgenes Reservoir for most of the 1 1/2 mile hike.

 You can't go swimming in the Las Virgenes Reservoir but it sure makes for gorgeous views.

You can't go swimming in the Las Virgenes Reservoir but it sure makes for gorgeous views.

Towards the endpoint (Denver Springs Drive), on the right you can look down towards Westlake Boulevard/Decker Canyon and see the eight acre Lake Eleanor. Pretty cool to see from above as it is not accessible to the public.

 The main trail is on the left; veer right however for best views of Lake Eleanor.

The main trail is on the left; veer right however for best views of Lake Eleanor.

Lake Eleanor along with the Lake Eleanor Dam (also called Banning Dam) and surrounding 529 acres of open space has been named City of Thousand Oaks Historical Landmark #9. 

 Lake Eleanor, which is fenced off to protect the wildlife, is clearly visible from the trail.

Lake Eleanor, which is fenced off to protect the wildlife, is clearly visible from the trail.

I love this little hike. It is quiet and peaceful and the views are just wonderful up here. And you are just minutes from civilization.

CLICK HERE FOR DOZENS OF OTHER GREAT HIKING TRAILS AROUND VENTURA COUNTY