Winding through a rocky landscape previously used as a backdrop for films and television shows, Corriganville Park loop trail is perfect for both families with young children and Hollywood history buffs.
To get there, drive down Valley Circle Boulevard until you reach Box Canyon Road. Turn right at Box Canyon Road and keep going toward Santa Susana Pass Road, turning left again at the T-intersection. Shortly after crossing over the 118 Freeway, look for a sign pointing the way to the park on the right. Parking is free and expansive and the park is dog-friendly, too.
Nestled near the Simi Foot Hills, the park offers a small cave, various rock formations and old movie backdrops to explore. There are two main entry points to the short one-mile loop that twists through the 264-acre park once used to film sequences for such works as Fort Apache, 1948; Streets of Laredo, 1949; The Three Musketeers, 1948 and more than three thousand other films and television shows.
Once on the trail, interpretive signs posted along the wide and flat foot path, which could easily accommodate any all-terrain stroller, explain the history and local the local flora of the area. Large Coastal Live Oaks provide a shaded canopy for the first half of the trek while elderberries, yarrow and various other local species flourish in their shadows.
Following the trail further down past some willow trees, one arrives at a large cemented pool that was once called Robin Hood Lake, as well Jungle Jim Lake. The now empty basin houses a camera room, which is easily identified by four square portholes. During the park’s studio era, the room was used to film underwater scenes for such films as Jungle Jim, 1948; The Creature from the Black Lagoon, 1954; and The African Queen, 1951. A small plateau called Stunt Rock was used by the character Jungle Jim for his famous diving shots in the film.
Past the artificial lake and through an oak grove named Sherwood Forest after the 1950s Robin Hood television series shot at the location, the path meets up with a connector trail called Wild Life Corridor Trail. This particular trail leads to a much larger nature area near Rocky Peak that one can traverse.
Staying on the loop, avoiding the connector, the surrounding landscape is soon enveloped by large sandstone boulders. Scattered across the area, some of the boulders lay on the ground surrounded by the blossoming yellows of Golden Yarrow and sunflowers. Others lie stacked upon each other, creating dreamlike images. One in particular resembles a medicine man’s head looking up into the sky. Check the photo attached to the article to see image.
Climbing for a short distance, the path opens to a nice view of the north end of the park before descending back down to where the cavalry sequences of Fort Apache were shot. The hilly chaparral landscape reminiscent of older times and the piercing scents of cowboy cologne enliven the senses as one moseys back toward the main road.
On the left before the last stretch of the loop, a small cave is hidden behind a large oak. Watch out for small bushel of poison oak near the mouth of the cavern. And right before reaching the parking lot, the foundation of what was once an old was movie set can still be found.
Now just ruins, the old western movie town was referred to by many names through its silver screen career including Dodge City, Tombstone and Laredo.
Enjoy your journey and don't forget to bring the family. The children will love playing cowboy and exploring as you walk along the footsteps of some of Hollywood’s greatest films.
Click on the videos attached to this article to see some of the sequences filmed at Corriganville Park.