Hollywood Rocks and Remnants

Explore the former movie studio ranch Corriganville Park in Simi Valley

It’s currently quiet on the set of Corriganville Park in Simi Valley, but it used to be a bustling movie studio and ranch. Explore the Hollywood history of the now beautiful regional park via a 2-mile loop featuring film set remnants, striking rock formations, and a fairytale oak grove.

You can really explore the park in any direction (download the historical interpretive map; there are lots of trails and it’s hard to get lost), but park at the northeastern end of the lot to start this particular loop that begins under the first batch of coast live oaks. The park is named after Ray “Crash” Corrigan, an actor/stuntman who even held western-themed shows for tourists when the area was not being used as a film locale. Look for the park’s oak woodland setting in movies and TV shows from the 1940s to 1970s, such as The Lone RangerStar Trek, and Fort Apache, but on this hike, look for interpretive signage detailing both nature and film history.

The path starts along a dry concrete pool that was used to shoot underwater scenes in movies like The Creature from the Black LagoonandThe African Queen. You’ll soon reach a glorious grove of oaks (and some picnic tables to enjoy them) known as Sherwood Forest, where Robin Hood was filmed in the 1950s. Look for redshafted flickers and redheaded woodpeckers amongst the gnarly trees. The trail curves left past Camp Rotary to a rock labyrinth under a steep hill and the whir of the 118 Freeway. It then ascends and drops quickly, providing nice views of the park as the path hugs the canyon walls. It continues west to Foothill Park, but turn back when the green space comes into view. 

For adventurous hikers, there’s a spur trail detour that climbs up to granite boulders and vistas of the park and surrounding rocky hills of the San Fernando Valley. Return to the main trail and look for the path heading south beside more alien rock formations. You know you’re heading the right way when ruins of set foundations come into sight during your gradual descent. Under an oak (what else?) at the southern end of this open dirt space (and the alternate park entrance), you will find a sign detailing the ruins as rubble of the aforementioned western attraction, Silvertown. 

BONUS MOVIE HIKE: For even more film and television history, head to nearby Rocky Peak Park for a modern film set workout (this is where some pivotal scenes from season 2 of The Mandalorian were filmed) or Garden of the Gods for more western set pieces and cool rock formations.

To get to Corriganville Park, take the CA-118 to the Rocky Peak Rd. exit and head south. Take an immediate right onto Santa Susana Pass Rd. and follow it for nearly 2 miles, turning right onto Smith Rd. The Corriganville Park entrance and lot is on the left at the road’s terminus. Dog-friendly!

Story and photos by Matt Pawlik

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