Am I pleased with my title nod to Dave Matthews Band? I am, and you'll be pleased with this hike. Though we've been through this area many times, we've never started a hike in Corriganville.
Corriganville was founded on land Ray "Crash" Corrigan, a silent movie cowboy, scouted on hunting trips with Clark Gable, Corriganville soon became a thriving movie lot. 3500 films were shot on the grounds, including The African Queen, Tarzan, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, and Robin Hood. When the film industry moved to other spots, Corrigan returned to his roots and converted the still-standing western sets into a wild west tourist attraction. He recruited his old movie buddies and they performed all manner of cowboy stunts for customers, culminating in a shoot out. Numerous fires wiped out the sets over time, but the foundations remain, as well as the rock Tarzan used to dive from, the water trough the Creature swam in, and other Hollywood artifacts. The land has been converted to a public park, but is still used for filming now and then (an episode of Bones was being filmed one time I was there).
One of the best features of Corriganville is an array of 15 or 20 placards set up around the grounds, educating on not only the films and personalities that gave the area color, but on the flora, fauna, geology, and local history, like the making of the 118 and the Amtrak train tunnel we'll be passing over at our turnaround spot.
After slipping through Corriganville and hopping the train tracks, we'll slither along a seasonal stream up to the Santa Susanna Pass. From there, we'll bound over hill and dale, down to Chatsworth. Crossing over the aforementioned tunnel, we'll inspect the abandoned Chatsworth Park on our way over to the Stagecoach Trail.
The Stagecoach Trail was once the route of conveyance from LA to San Francisco. A rough-hewn path was carved out of the sandstone by hand, and pins were pounded in along the way so block and tackle could be used to ease coaches up and down the steep, precarious slope (so precarious, part of it was named Devil's Slope). Pick marks and pin holes can still be seen in the rock, as can grooves from countless wheels making the journey. I promise you will be amazed that this boulder-strewn trail was once a major artery of travel.
Picking our way through those boulders will take us back up to the Pass, then back down the way we came up.
We'll do an 8 mile lollipop hike with 1500 feet of elevation gain. The middle half of the hike is exposed, so prepare accordingly with Stetson and chaps, as needed.
From the 118, exit on Kuehner Drive and drive south (turn left if coming from the Valley, right if coming from not-the-Valley). Drive Kuehner for 1.7 miles and turn left at the third light (Smith Rd). Drive to the end of the street and into the parking lot.
Parking is free.
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
The hike host is a volunteer and not responsible for the group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. Please treat this meet-up as hiking with a group of friends. If you become fatigued and unable to continue the hike, it is expected you will advise the hike host of this and return to our starting point on your own. If you are able to proceed, it is expected that you will maintain line of sight with other members of the group at all times and help to promote the group’s safety and fitness goals.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions.
If you choose to sign up for this or any Weekday Trailblazers Meetup event, you are releasing the Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group, its organizers, and sponsors from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.
All participants must be 18 or older, or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.