The Corriganville Movie Ranch Site in Simi Valley is a Ventura County Historical Landmark

The Corriganville Movie Ranch Site in Simi Valley was designated a historical point of interest by the Ventura County Cultural Heritage Board in January 1982, then subsequently was redesignated as a historical landmark in August 1995.

Corriganville was a 1,500 acre piece of land in Simi Valley purchased by western film star Ray “Crash” Corrigan in 1937. The site was a working movie ranch for nearly three decades, and was used in the making of roughly 3,500 western films and television series such as Fort Apache, The Lone Ranger, and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Actors like John Wayne, Gene Autry, Johnny Weissmuller, Tex Ritter, Joel McCrea, Dale Evans and so many others filmed movies here.

Corriganville today...the ranch burned down in the 1970s, leaving just these cement slabs and exterior walls.

Corriganville today...the ranch burned down in the 1970s, leaving just these cement slabs and exterior walls.

In 1949, the ranch opened to the public as “Corriganville,” a western themed amusement park. The ranch was later purchased by Bob Hope in 1965, deeming the ranch its alternative name, Hopetown. The ranch burned down in the 1970s and all that is left are the cement slabs and exterior rock walls of the barn. 

View of Corriganville Park from a trail on the east side of the park. The trail takes you up to 118 Freeway and a wildlife corridor tunnel that takes you under the freeway into Rocky Peak Park.

View of Corriganville Park from a trail on the east side of the park. The trail takes you up to 118 Freeway and a wildlife corridor tunnel that takes you under the freeway into Rocky Peak Park.

In 1988, 190 acres of the original ranch was purchased by the City of Simi Valley and is now managed by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District. Corriganville Park is located at 1601 Kuehner Drive, Simi Valley and is open to the public for hiking, walking and exploring. For a detailed compilation of historical aspects of the site, visit www.corriganville.net.

A photo of the Corriganville Movie Ranch when it was an active movie set. Learn more about Corriganville and see a model of what it looked like in the 1960s at the nearby   Santa Susana Depot Museum  .

A photo of the Corriganville Movie Ranch when it was an active movie set. Learn more about Corriganville and see a model of what it looked like in the 1960s at the nearby Santa Susana Depot Museum.

Compilation of Great Trails and Hikes In and Around Ventura County

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Looking for a good hike around Ventura County and nearby areas? We've highlighted a number of our favorite hikes in the Do Something section of Conejo Valley Guide.

HIKE TO A CONEJO VALLEY BENCH WITH A VIEW

HIKE TO AUTOMOTIVE RELICS IN THE CONEJO VALLEY OPEN SPACE

SEVEN FLAT, STROLLER FRIENDLY TRAILS IN THE CONEJO VALLEY

DOG-FRIENDLY TRAILS IN THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS

Reminder: Please refrain from using the trails during rain events and afterwards, until they have dried. Doing otherwise causes damage to the trails.

Lone Oak at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa

Lone Oak at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa

Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa in Newbury Park

Fossil Trail Loop in the Boney Mountain Wilderness

Oakbrook Vista Trail in Thousand Oaks

Rancho Potrero Open Space in Newbury Park

Hill Canyon, Hawk Canyon and Western Plateau Trails in Thousand Oaks

Western Plateau Trail Loop From Newbury Park

Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks

Lynnmere Trail in Thousand Oaks (south of Wildwood Park)

Conejo Canyons Bridge in the Western Plateau of Thousand Oaks BRIDGE IS BACK OPEN

Tarantula Hill Hike in Thousand Oaks

Arroyo Conejo Trail in Thousand Oaks

Sunset Hills Trail in Thousand Oaks

North Ranch Open Space in Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village

Hillcrest Open Space Preserve in Thousand Oaks

Powerline Trail in Newbury Park to Conejo Mountain

Lake Eleanor Open Space Hike in Westlake Village

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden in Thousand Oaks

Triunfo Creek Park in Westlake Village

Potrero Ridge Trail in Newbury Park

Marview Drive Trail in Thousand Oaks

Pentachaeta Trail and Westlake Vista Trail in Westlake Village

Rabbit Hill (Knoll Open Space) in Newbury Park

Lynnmere Open Space views to the west.

Lynnmere Open Space views to the west.

Views from the Ray Miller Trail in Malibu.

Danielson Road trail in the Boney Mountain Wilderness.

Danielson Road trail in the Boney Mountain Wilderness.

Views of Simi Valley from the peak of Mt. McCoy in Simi Valley.

Views of Simi Valley from the peak of Mt. McCoy in Simi Valley.

Sunset Hills Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Sunset Hills Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Tree encampment along Los Padres Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Tree encampment along Los Padres Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Seven Flat, Stroller and Family Friendly Hikes in the Conejo Valley

There is a ring of about 15,000 acres of open space with 140 miles of trails for public use surrounding the Conejo Valley. All too often on the Conejo Valley Guide Facebook Page we hear requests for which trails are "stroller friendly" and/or suitable for young children. Here is a sampling of some of the more popular ones in the area.

Wildwood Park to many is the single greatest spot for family hikes and stroller-friendly trails. With 14 trails covering 17 miles, including the popular hike to Paradise Falls and the teepee as well as some wide, relatively flat sections along the Mesa Trail towards Lizard Rock.

It takes a bit of driving via the Norwegian Grade and Santa Rosa Road to get there, but the Conejo Canyons Bridge in the Western Plateau area of the Conejo Open Space leads to several miles of nice, flat, well-maintained family-friendly trails leading to tree-canopied picnic areas. NOTE: THE BRIDGE WAS SEVERELY DAMAGED IN THE HILL FIRE OF NOVEMBER 2018: The COSCA site at www.conejo-openspace.org will provide updates regarding when the bridge is re-opened.

Shaded picnic area off the Hawk Canyon Trail from the Conejo Canyons Bridge

Shaded picnic area off the Hawk Canyon Trail from the Conejo Canyons Bridge

The 1 mile Spring Canyon Trail is a mostly flat trail that runs from Lynn Oaks Park in Newbury Park to the Los Robles Trail.  There are some moderately hills but with a park nearby, makes for a fun little excursion with the little ones.

Speaking of the Los Robles Trail, another great little hike to take with the kids is the Oak Creek Canyon Loop Trail. The first 4/10th of a mile of the trail, accessible off of Greenmeadow Avenue in Thousand Oaks, is the Oak Creek Canyon Whole Access Interpretive Trail. This is a nice, shady, flat trail picnic benches along the path. The remainder of the loop is not quite as stroller friendly, with a couple moderately steep sections that can be navigated on foot.

Picnic trails and shade abound at the Oak Creek Canyon Interpretative Trail.

Picnic trails and shade abound at the Oak Creek Canyon Interpretative Trail.

The Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area managed by the National Park Service in Newbury Park has over several miles of trails to explore, most of which are flat and stroller-friendly. The Satwiwa Loop Trail takes you around the area and the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center makes for a fun stop with the family when open on weekends. 

Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons offer great family hiking opportunities. While there's definitely hills surrounding these canyons, try the Cheeseboro Canyon Trail, the 4 to 5 mile main artery into the park. Flat and kid/stroller friendly it is. Also try the Doubletree Trailhead connector to the Palo Comado Trail. Flat, fun and scenic.

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Although you will encounter pretty significant hills in the Lang Ranch/Woodridge Open Space in Thousand Oaks, it is worth checking out with the kids for its wide open trails and interesting sandstone rock formations. If you are really strong, strollers are possible here, but do know that you will encounter some hills like the hill shown in the image below.

This hill in the Lang Ranch/Woodridge Open Space at the Autumn Ridge Trail is a bit daunting but worth the climb.

This hill in the Lang Ranch/Woodridge Open Space at the Autumn Ridge Trail is a bit daunting but worth the climb.

NOTE: THE GROUNDS OF OAKBROOK REGIONAL PARK WERE SEVERELY DAMAGED BY THE WOOLSEY FIRE OF NOVEMBER 2018. AS A RESULT, THE GROUNDS HAVE BEEN CLOSED. A GOFUNDME FUNDRAISER HAS BEEN ESTABILISHED AT www.gofundme.com/chumash-indian-museum-wildfire-fund TO HELP RAISE FUNDS TO REBUILD.

We're going to throw a bonus trail into the mix. The several miles of hiking trails in the Oakbrook Regional Park Archaeological Area in Thousand Oaks is an outstanding place for a flat, picturesque and oak-tree canopied place for a short hike with the kids. The Chumash village reproduction is an interesting place to explore with the kids. SEE NOTE ABOVE REGARDING IMPACT OF WOOLSEY FIRE.

For a more comprehensive compilation of trails in the Conejo Valley and throughout Ventura County, visit THIS LINK.

Century Lake at Malibu Creek State Park

According to the Malibu Creek Docents, around 1903, the Crags Country Club constructed a 50 foot tall dam on its 2,000 acre property on what is now Malibu Creek State Park. The dam created a seven acre lake that club members used for fishing and duck hunting.

The Club closed in 1936, and 10 years later, 20th Century Fox Studios purchased the property to film movies and TV shows on what was renamed Century Ranch. The 1968 "Planet of the Apes" featured many prominent scenes shot here.

This is an awesome video showing Planet of the Apes (1968) film scenes at Malibu Creek State Park and local area beaches then and today.

As for the lake, it is now referred to as Century Lake, a hiking destination in Malibu Creek State Park. Only 1 1/2 miles from the parking area, Century Lake is in a secluded area, where you can eat your lunch at the picnic table and enjoy serenity (usually, depending on who else is there). I believe it is fine to wade in the water and even kayak in there if desired. although I've never seen anyone do so.

Century Lake is a left hand turn from the main Crags Road trail, after cresting the only significant hill going down the other side. The only indicator is this narrow sign.

Century Lake is a left hand turn from the main Crags Road trail, after cresting the only significant hill going down the other side. The only indicator is this narrow sign.

The hike has a moderately steep hill in it, but otherwise is quite flat and easy to do with kids and/or a stroller.

Malibu Creek State Park has something for everyone...camping, a visitor center, the "Rock Pool," the M*A*S*H set, the old Reagan Ranch, Century Lake, over 35 miles of trails, rock climbing (near the Rock Pool) and more.

The Century Dam is shown in this image. You don't wanna fall down that dam. Off limits.

The Century Dam is shown in this image. You don't wanna fall down that dam. Off limits.

Trail Etiquette Tips in the Conejo Valley and Surrounding Areas

The trails that surround us here in the Conejo Valley, including the Santa Monica Mountains maintained by the National Park Service, State Parks and other organizations, as well as the Conejo Open Space, is year-round wonderland for hikers, biker, runners and equestrians. As such, it’s always good to remember the rules for trail etiquette.

Here is a summary of tips summarized in a brochure posted at trailetiquette.org:

Hikers, runners and mountain bikers must always yield to equestrians. Do so by immediately stopping and waiting on the downhill side of the trail. Greet the rider, as your voice also signals to the horse that you’re human and not a potential threat. Communicate with the rider and ask how to proceed. As beautiful as the horses are, do not approach or pet them without asking for permission first. If you are a cyclist, after communicating with the horse rider, pass slowly and steadily, without sudden movements or noises.

Hikers should always listen for cyclists, runners and equestrians approaching from behind. Listen for “on your left” so that you can stay to the right and let them by. Hike single-file on narrow trails and try to stay to the right on wider trails. Keep your dogs on short (6 feet maximum) leashes and of course, clean up after them. If you wear headphones, consider wearing only one earpiece or turning the volume down so you can hear your surroundings.

Bikers should slow down and yield to hikers and horses. Consider using a bell to alert others you are behind them. On a single track trail, downhill cyclists should yield to uphill cyclists.

And some other reminders…stay on the trails, don’t litter, don’t block the trail if you need to stop and don’t use the trails when the are wet.

And of course, be nice, smile at and greet your fellow trail users! We love our local trails!

GREAT TRAILS AND HIKES IN AND AROUND VENTURA COUNTY

Solstice Canyon in Malibu Has a Perennial Waterfall and Much More

Solstice Canyon is a worthy local hiking destination, located at the intersection of Corral Canyon and Solstice Canyon Roads in Malibu. It is home to one of the only year-round waterfalls in the Santa Monica Mountains and there is a handful of nice trails to explore.

The main trail is the Solstice Canyon Trail, a fairly easy, not too steep, 2.1 mile round trip hike, largely paved, to the stone and brick ruins of the Fred and Florence Roberts ranch house. This is called the Tropical Terrace. Missouri native Fred Roberts founded Roberts Public Market, a chain of grocery and liquor stores, in the late 1920s. He sold the chain in 1949, while in the meantime amassed nearly 1,000 acres in Solstice Canyon.

A large portion of the Solstice Canyon Trail is paved.

A large portion of the Solstice Canyon Trail is paved.

In 1952, Roberts hired renowned African-American architect Paul R. Williams to design the home, which featured beautiful architectural design that blended into the serene environment and incorporated fire protection features using pumps, pipes and water collection pools. Roberts passed away in 1976. In 1982, the Dayton Canyon Fire burned the site to the ground.

Remains of the home of Fred and Florence Roberts at the top of Solstice Canyon

Remains of the home of Fred and Florence Roberts at the top of Solstice Canyon

Today you can see the foundation, fireplaces, steps and other interesting features, then explore the shaded rock pool area, where you'll see the waterfall (which in drought years can be quite small, but perennial nonetheless).

Waterfall access is the right (east) of the Roberts home.

Waterfall access is the right (east) of the Roberts home.

Naturally canopied rock pool area where the waterfall can be seen and explored.

Naturally canopied rock pool area where the waterfall can be seen and explored.

On the way to the Roberts House, you will see a sign, "Built of Stone and Tin." Read about the wood cabin purchased by Henry Keller in 1901 that was destroyed by a fire two years later. Keller, who enjoyed hunting and fishing in Solstice Canyon, rebuilt the one room hunting lodge in stone and tin to withstand future fires. Over the years, wood porches were added. The structure was scorched in the Corral Fire of 2007.  But the stone walls are still there today...and are considered to be the oldest still-existing in Malibu today.

You can walk fairly close to the Keller House ruins.

You can walk fairly close to the Keller House ruins.

Other trails include the:

  • Dry Canyon Trail - 1.2 mile easy round trip canyon trail that in the winter brings a 150 foot waterfall and stream

  • TRW Loop Trail - 1.5 mile round trip loop that is fairly easy

  • Rising Sun Trail - 1.5 mile moderate trail on the eastern ridgeline of the canyon that connects at the top to the Solstice Canyon Trail near the waterfall

  • Sostomo Trail/Deer Valley Trail - Moderate to strenuous extension from near the top of the Solstice Canyon Trail of roughly 4 miles

There is a small amphitheater at the main parking area, public restrooms and several picnic areas here. A great place to bring the kids! Dog friendly too (except not dogs in the waterfall area), as long as they are on leash.

Solstice Canyon was opened as a public park by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in 1988 and today is managed by the National Park Service. More information at www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/solsticecanyon.htm.

One way to get to Solstice Canyon from Thousand Oaks is to take the 101 south to Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road, south to PCH, where you'll turn right (west). Turn right on Solstice Canyon Road (a light) and your first left is Solstice Canyon. There is limited parking at the entrance, but the main parking lot is about 1/4 mile up the hill.

Cheeseboro Canyon vs Chesebro Road in Agoura Hills

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Cheeseboro and Palo Comado Canyons cover over 4,000 acres in the northernmost section of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, in the Simi Hills. The Chumash occupied these canyons for thousands of years, until ranchers came into the area in the 1800s. The natural landscape changed as a result to accommodate the needs of grazing cattle.

The National Park Service (NPS) acquired Cheeseboro Canyon in the early to mid 1980s and subsequently acquired Palo Comado Canyon (formerly known as the Jordan Ranch), in 1994.

Nearly every time we post an image from Cheeseboro Canyon to a social media site, someone points out, "it's not Cheeseboro, it's Chesebro."

Why is it called Cheeseboro when the road that gets you to the trailhead is called Chesebro?

According to a NPS Ranger I've spoken with, the original owner of the land in the late 1800s was Oscar Cheesebrough (yet a different spelling). The NPS adopted the U.S. Geological Survey spelling of Cheeseboro, while Caltrans adopted the name Chesebro.

Why the difference? That's not so clear. But what IS clear is that the actual canyon is called Cheeseboro Canyon and it is a beautiful place to hike and bike!

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