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

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