Porter Ranch Wander and Ponder

Hike Limekiln Canyon Park in Porter Ranch

Hidden Canyon? Yes! Rock Garden? You got it! Redwoods? Wait … really? Yes! Head to Limekiln Canyon Park in Porter Ranch for a highly accessible, street-to-street 3.75-mile out-and-back hike. On this adventure you’ll find some super San Fernando surprises in the quaint northern part of the valley.

Park on Rinaldi Street, right before Corbin Avenue, and find the nondescript trailhead and city park sign on your right. There’s also a charming wooden sign that lets you know Sesnon Boulevard is likely your turnaround point. The wide dirt trail descends immediately into the canyon, and the suburban bustle of Porter Ranch immediately fades away. You’ll pass two community rock gardens on your left, full of a wide variety of colorful stone creations beckoning locals to add to the collection.  As the trail flattens, picnic tables, workout areas, a rope swing over the stream (on your left), and a multitude of hulking trees appear—oaks and pines of course, but look for the two redwood trees! Continuing, take the left path at any junction (they all eventually reconnect).

During your secluded canyon stroll, you’ll rock-hop across the stream a couple of times, which provides a constant (and very welcome) peaceful babble throughout the journey. It truly is an oasis, with the sycamores, willows, and fan palms lining the water alongside rolling grassy hills. There are also spur trails to ascend the canyon for different perspectives, but the trail does eventually climb quickly above the stream at the intersection with Moonshine Canyon (no accessible trail here) and heads under a bridge at Hollow Springs Drive.

This gives you the most expansive views of the hike, stretching into the canyons and beyond to Porter Ranch suburbia. Through the remainder of the trail to Senson Boulevard, the trail rollercoasters a bit for a little extra workout. When you reach Senson, head back and take the return trip slowly, enjoying this pleasing private (public) paradise.

BONUS TREAT: Porter Ranch is home to plenty of quaint cafes worth visiting, but a short walk from the trailhead (west on Rinaldi) is the Porter Ranch Town Center, home to Owl’s, where you can get crafted ice cream. Try their interesting flavors (such as honey rosemary) or unique ice cream panini creation!

To get to Limekiln Canyon Park south entrance (trailhead and street parking), take the CA-118 to the Tampa Ave. exit and head north. Take the first left onto Rinaldi St. and after 0.2 mile the park (and parking) will be on your right. Dog-friendly! 

Story and photos by Matt Pawlik

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Up Umunhum

    Rising from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Umunhum is one of the Bay Area’s highest points, reaching an impressive 3,486 feet. With the new 7.4-mile (round-trip) addition to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, locals can finally step up to its peak.

    View
  2. Cross It Off Your Bucket List

    Crosstown Trail San Francisco may be one of the most beautiful city walks in America, passing through less-visited nooks and crannies while also taking in greatest hits, including mosaic stairways.

    View
  3. Kirby Your Enthusiasm

    Just west of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin is one of the Bay's most-accessible secluded beaches. Kirby Cove is accessed by hiking or biking a 1-mile fire road down to the beach, where the reward is an all-time classic Golden Gate view.

    View
  4. Napa's Wild Side

    It’s wine country’s Amazon. Cutting 50 miles through the famous Napa Valley and emptying into San Pablo Bay, the gentle Napa River is an ecological—and recreational—delight. And Napa Valley Paddle helps you enjoy it.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Sponsored

    Weekend Sherpa Podcast: Take it Outside

    Adventure for your earbuds. What's new in the world of the outdoors? Listen to Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss local hikes, beaches, bike rides, camping spots and all kinds of travel and adventure in California and beyond!

    View
  2. Secret Trail at Torrey Pines

    Find cliff climbs, sandy strolls, and secret hikes throughout “America’s finest sandy stretch" at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in San Diego County.

    View
  3. Secluded Royale

    Panoramic coastal views and a killer leg workout combine on this 2.7-mile (round-trip) out-and-back hike to secluded Coast Royale Beach in Orange County

    View
  4. Border Field State Park

    Border Field State Park is the southernmost point in California as well as one of the last beautiful undeveloped coastlines in the state. Visit this natural refuge for a 4.5-mile hike featuring important history and wildlife habitats, plus stunning SoCal beach scenery.

    View