Meet in the parking lot at 1 PM. We'll leave at 1:15 PM. We'll hike to Walker Ranch and to see the tree where gold was 1st discovered in California! This is a very pretty canyon with lots of trees! We'll take a break at Walker Ranch at the picnic tables there.
Hike is approx 5 miles RT and 300 feet elevation gain. Beginners in decent shape should be able to do this. Bring water, sneakers, etc.
Placerita is an east-west running canyon featuring cool, shaded oak groves, a willow and sycamore-lined seasonal stream and numerous other interesting plant and animal communities.
The historic "Oak of the Golden Dream" (http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory/signal/coins/worden-coinage1005.htm) is the site of California's original gold discovery in 1842. Another landmark is the Walker Cabin (http://www.flickr.com/photos/placerita/sets/72157603887453523/show/) , built by Frank Walker in 1920 for his family.
A network of self-guiding nature, history and hiking trails radiates out into the park from the Center, with longer hikes leading to a seasonal waterfall and to the top of the Santa Clarita Divide. Picnicking is available near the Nature Center.
The park encompasses oak woodland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_oak_woodland), chaparral, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaparral) and riparian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riparian_zone) plant communties on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gabriel_Mountains) southeast of the City of Santa Clarita (http://www.santa-clarita.com/). The park not only serves to conserve a slice of the wild environment but also endeavors to educate the public on the value of undisturbed flora and fauna through wild animal presentations, nature hikes, and self-guided educational trails.