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.

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. Taking the Stage: Tyler Ranch

    Hike the recently opened Tyler Ranch Staging Area in Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, with 18 miles of new trails. This 6.5-mile loop up Sunol Peak is a challenge and rewards with exceptional views of seasonal iridescent hills.

  2. Swing into Spring

    Swing into this 7.1-mile hike in the hills of Half Moon Bay! It’s got gorgeous views, fields of spring wildflowers, and a hidden rustic tree swing.

  3. The Carson Show

    Carson Falls is ready for primetime. This three-tiered, 100-foot stunner is hidden back in a canyon outside of Fairfax and reached on a 3.25-mile (round-trip) hike.

  4. woman kneeling and signing peak book at Mount Olympia in Mount Diablo State Park

    Double Up on Diablo

    Set the tone for 2024 with this twofer summit hike at Mount Diablo State Park. Embark on a 7-mile out-and-back up Mount Olympia and Diablo’s lesser-known summit, North Peak.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Hiker overlooking Bear Gulch Reservoir at Pinnacles National Park near Monterey

    Pinnacles of Spring

    Why hike at Pinnacles National Park? Spring's a beautiful time of year here. And you might spy the magnificent California condor soaring while you gain soaring views from the High Peaks Trail.

  2. Caves in Mojave

    No one expects to see caves when they visit the desert, and that’s part of what makes Mitchell Caverns in the Mojave Desert such an interesting place. Go on a two-hour guided adventure tour through Mitchell Caverns in Providence Mountains State Recreation Area.

  3. Sponsored

    Port of Call

    Nestled by the sea on the majestic Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, Port Townsend is for travelers who treasure small town charm and natural beauty.

  4. Lava Lava

    Once a land of volcanic activity, Mojave National Preserve shares plenty about its past via a quick yet adventurous hike to the Lava Tube in the Cima Dome Volcanic Field.