Healthy 'Hoods: Getting Outdoors in South Los Angeles


This video and article was produced in collaboration with KCET program SoCal Wanderer with host Jacob Soboroff.

There are a lot reasons to head to South Los Angeles and hiking probably isn't at the top of your list. As home to nearly one million people, the region is one of the densest areas, but also the most park poor.

There are 92 parks and recreation areas in South Los Angeles totaling about 1,200 acres. That translates to 1.2 acres for every 1,000 people, significantly less than the national standard of 6 acres. (Read the report, Green Visions Plan for 21st Century California).

Of what's available, here are a handful of accessible areas of significant size that offer a chance to get back to nature and beauty within the city -- with a physical challenge, of course.

Stocker Corridor Trail (map)

This linear park winds its way almost two miles up from Presidio Drive to La Brea Avenue with Stocker Street below and million-dollar hilltop homes above.

The trail, which opened in 2006, begins a few blocks west of Crenshaw Boulevard near the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall. You can park on Presidio Drive in the unincorporated View Park neighborhood.

The trail marks the beginning of what will one day will be the Park to Playa Trail that will be a continuous path to the ocean.
Find more photos like this on Leimert Park Beat

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area (map)

Kenneth Hahn Park has more than seven miles of trails in the hills and canyons bordered by La Cienega Boulevard and La Brea Avenue to the east and west, and Rodeo Road and Stocker Street to the north and south.

Opened in 1983, trails in the park are still being developed today. The Burke Roche Trail and the Rim Trail are the most recent additions. The trails, some built by the Sierra Club, weave in and out of native coastal sage scrub habitat and offer glimpses of Century City and the downtown skyline, Palos Verdes Peninsula and Catalina Island.

Along the way, there is a fishing lake, lotus pond, Japanese garden and waterfall. There's also the Olympic Forest with 140 trees, a different tree for each county that participated in the 1984 Olympics.

The park was once covered with oil wells and was home to the Baldwin Hills Reservoir. In 1963, the reservoir's dam collapsed and emptied 300 million gallons of water into the neighborhoods below. KTLA used a helicopter to film the events, the first live aerial coverage of a disaster.

The outline of the reservoir's empty bowl, now a great lawn, is still visible.

In addition to the main entrance on La Cienega, a new entryway has been created on La Brea, which you can reach by parking at Norman O. Houston Park.
Find more photos like this on Leimert Park Beat

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (map)

This state park's young trail is on a trajectory to rival the dunes in Manhattan Beach, the stairs in Santa Moncia and hills of Hollywood's Runyon Canyon as a destination for a challenging workout.

"We finally have one of our own landmarks," said David McNeill, executive director of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy.

The overlook trail only ascends 511 feet in less than a mile. But the oversized steps climbing up the peak are visible for miles around and peer over Culver City and Cameo Gardens like an ancient pyramid.

The park's signature look was inspired by the Mayan Chichen Itza. The large, uneven steps were created from the remnants of a building on the site that had been built by Howard Hughes.

"It could have been symmetrical but this is an adventure," McNeill said. "We wanted to embrace the hill's flaws. The primal instinct is to climb to higher ground to get closer to the sun or god."

At the top, in addition to a modern yet unassuming visitor center and a guide to flora and fauna, are some of the best views of the entire county. The 360-degree-vantage point is also one of the best places to watch all the fireworks shows in Los Angeles at once.

There's also a more traditional trail that uses switchbacks to navigate the hilltop.
Find more photos like this on Culver City Times

Culver City Park (map)

Next door to the Baldwin Hills Scenic overlook, this 42-acre park is packed with amenities. It is home to the Culver City Skate Park, the Boneyard dog park, ball fields and more.

It's also home to one of the more unusual nature hikes, an ADA accessible interpretive nature trail. This wood-planked, ramped path of switchbacks meanders 20-minutes up a tree-dotted hillside to a giant sundial.

 

Click to read the entire Healthy 'Hoods series:

Part 1 - Healthy 'Hoods: Obesity is a problem in Los Angeles, but South LA suffers more.

Part 2 - Healthy 'Hoods: How do you build a healthy community?

Part 3 - Healthy 'Hoods: Getting Outdoors in South Los Angeles.

Part 4 - Healthy 'Hoods: Leimert Park’s Hidden Passage to Health.

Part 5 - Healthy 'Hoods: Greening South Los Angeles.

---
This project was made possible through the support of the USC Annenberg Health Journalism Fellowship program, funded by the California Endowment.

---

LeimertParkBeat.com and SoCal Connected partnered to produce the Healthy 'Hood series.

Healthwise is a SoCal Connected series examining how community and environment can impact your health. Reports are made possible by a grant from The California Endowment. VIEW THE FULL SERIES »

Views: 224

Comment

You need to be a member of Leimert Park Beat to add comments!

Join Leimert Park Beat

Leimert Park Beat is the news and social network for Leimert Park and the surrounding neighborhoods. Stay informed. Join now!

 

• Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.

• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of your business or the school play? Upload them.

WHAT STORIES WOULD YOU SUGGEST? Let me know.

With your help, LeimertParkBeat.com raised money to hire reporters, graphic artists and community members to cover our area.
Read the stories - Urban Economy 411, Redevelopment Hell and One of these don't belong.

Latest Activity

DojO- posted blog posts
yesterday
DojO- commented on DojO-'s blog post The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz 'new' JAM SESSION • DwighTrible Presents @ The 'new' World STAGE Mon., Dec. 10th 9PM-MidNite ~ [TONIGHT]
"(as per) Live On-Air (mention) by Ollie Bivins, X-Co-Editor/writer all about Jazz/messenger/L.A. - Guest Host (2nd Mon. morn. of the month)  (concernin' TMI Jam @ STAGE) "I've heard them, they're great…"
Monday
DojO- updated an event
Thumbnail

The World Stage "Autumn Jazz Concert Series +" DwighTrible Presents: LA Weekly Jazz - Dec '18 *updatez* at The 'new' World STAGE " 'BEST' Jazz Jam Session and 'BEST' South L.A. Jazz Club " - LAWeekly

October 13, 2018 at 9pm to December 31, 2018 at 11:30pm
Presented by Dwight Trible, Executive Director - The 'new' World STAGE Art, Education & Performance Gallery non profit 501 (c)(3) .LAWeekly:  The World Stage, a Leimert Park landmark founded…See More
Monday
DojO- commented on DojO-'s blog post The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz 'new' JAM SESSION • DwighTrible Presents @ The 'new' World STAGE Mon., Dec. 10th 9PM-MidNite ~ [TONIGHT]
"Wuz Hot? Weekly Best Bet 4 Live Jazz L.A. Monday 12/10 – Monday jam session(s) include the Thelonious Monk Institute (of Jazz Performance - Ensemble Class of 2020 "All Ages Welcome") at The World Stage in…"
Monday
DojO- posted a photo

Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble CLASS of 2020 JAMz

"All Welcome - All Ages - Instrumentalists, Vocalists & Audience""Autumn Jazz Concert Series +"·"Year-End Closer""Special" To: The 'new' World Stage 'new' iGenZ JamzCo-Presenters:* Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance - UCLA, Alpert…
Sunday
DojO- commented on DojO-'s event The World Stage "Autumn Jazz Concert Series +" DwighTrible Presents: LA Weekly Jazz - Dec '18 *updatez*
"MUSIC GO OUT | CLUBS | JAZZ & BLUES The World Stage - UPCOMING EVENTS  Sheree Brown Fri., Dec. 7  9:00pm Charlie Owens Sat., Dec. 8  8:00pm Sisters of Jazz Jam Session (Rose Gales - wkly) Sun., Dec. 9  8:00pm  (TMIJP…"
Dec 8
DojO- commented on DojO-'s event CHARLES OWENS Quartet · DwighTrible Presents ~ *updatez-TIX*
"LA Jazz Quick Calendar Saturday 12/8  9:00PM – Charles Owens (Quartet) The " 'Ever-Popular' 'LaLaLandz' Saxman " closes-down 2018 "Autumn Jazz Concert…"
Dec 8
DojO- commented on DojO-'s event CHARLES OWENS Quartet · DwighTrible Presents ~ *updatez-TIX*
"LA Jazz Quick Calendar Saturday 12/8  9:00PM – Charles Owens (Quartet) The " 'Ever-Popular' 'LaLaLandz' Saxman " closes-down 2018 "Autumn Jazz Concert…"
Dec 8

© 2018   Created by enhager.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service