Hiking in Corriganville Regional Park takes us through oak trees and a piece of movie history. The milieu of making movies still lingers in the air at the park and nothing is more Los Angeles than movies. We bump into the movie industry at nearly every turn: a famous person in the grocery store, a filming crew clogging a street, or the show-business daily, “Variety”, at the newsstand with headlines about our favorite shows. The movie business surrounds us and we Angelenos love it. It seems fitting that traces of movies history, especially movies that we love, can be found among these gnarly oaks.
While, the history is interesting I’m suggesting a family hike through the park because it’s kid and pet friendly and definitely an easy walk. I’ve seen moms and dads cruising along pushing the stroller with ease enjoying the scenery. The main path is a mile loop that is fairly level under beautiful gnarled oak trees. The dappled sunlight adds to the natural charm of the park.
Corriganville Park has long been a favorite for local hikers, bikers, and casual walkers. It’s one of my favorite places to hike. So pop the kids into the buggy and head on out to Corriganville Regional Park in Simi Valley.
Here’s a bit of movie history that comes with the park. Corriganville was founded by Ray “Crash” Corrigan, a cowboy and movie stunt man. He bought land out in Simi Valley and created a thriving location for filming. The movie sets also doubled as a very popular western-theme amusement park, complete with bank robbers, shoot-outs, and real stagecoach rides. Parents and kids of all ages flocked to the Corriganville.
I’ve seen estimates that from the 1930’s to the 1960’s scenes for over 3,500 movies and television shows were filmed there- scenes for movies like “The African Queen” with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, “Fort Apache” starring John Wayne, and TV series like “Gunsmoke”, with James Arness, Amanda Blake, and Dennis Weaver.
Unfortunately, the amusement park is gone now. A competitor trumped its popularity when a new amusement park opened in Anaheim, on July 17, 1955. The new park- “Disneyland”.
What’s left of the old amusement park now are the slabs foundations of the western town, the concrete lake-bed dubbed “Lake Robin Hood”, and the concrete bunker where cameras could film under water scenes. Eventually the remnants of Corrigan’s land became the current Corriganville Regional Park.
The Corriganville Regional Park is located at 7001 Smith Road, Simi Valley. It welcomes families looking for an interesting place to stroll as well as hikers and bikers. There are benches, picnic tables, port-a-potties, mutt mitts (by the way pets must be on a lease), and interpretive plaques that tells about how the ancient Chumash Indian’s used the plants in their daily lives, and other interesting information. Longer hikes veer off toward Rocky Peak and nearby points.
To get to Corriganville take the Ronald Reagan Freeway (118 Freeway) to Kuehner Drive in Simi Valley. Go south to Smith Road, and then turn left and go on to the parking lot. Click on our page “Ultimate Guide to Los Angeles Hiking Trails”. You can pinpoint the location and download a map to show you the area.
Enjoy your hike.