Placerita Canyon Nature Center, Newhall

#174 of 240 in Wildlife in California
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" is the site of California's original gold discovery in 1842. Another landmark is the Walker Cabin , 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, chaparral, and riparian plant communties on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains southeast of the City of Santa Clarita. 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.
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Placerita Canyon Nature Center Reviews
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42 reviews
  • Location is off the beaten path. The property contains some native birds and mammals as well as snakes. Note the surrounding area was consumed by fire a year ago. Sad but it makes for interesting view...  more »
  • As a full-time toddler father, I try to get my son out of the house at least once a day. We're always looking for new things to do as I have to admit I get bored just going to a park everyday. Placeri...  more »
  • To beat the heat we visited early on a Saturday morning before the Nature Center building was open (9am-5pm). Quite a few people were there enjoying the hiking trails, although 2-3 of them were closed...  more »
  • Pretty nice nature center with docents that brought out wild animals for the kids. Trails were decently maintained and there are a variety of short hikes for kids 3 and up. They loved climbing up to the water tank. Some trails were closed due to recent fires. The scenery would be better after rains or in the spring.
  • Beautiful Trails. The museum had on the weekend i went a super nice gentlemen talking about the area and animals found in it, including a cute barn owl who he introduced to guests. My son loves this place. Lots more to do including a Cabin excibit, pond, and nature trail perfect for kids with lots of surprises. Def recommend! Must go!
  • Beautiful place to spend an hour or more. Several hiking trails, nature center, Oak of the Golden Dream...picnic areas, beautiful views. Close enough to the city to make a quick trip, but quiet enough to get the city out of your soul.
  • Beautiful State Park managed by LA County parks. Historic buildings and a nature center museum/zoo make it fun for kids. Lots of tree with picnic tables and barbecue areas. Free parking.
  • This is a great place to hike. The trails are well maintained and you have a few options for trail difficulty from flat to a tough, long climb. The nature center is great with informative displays about the geology, history and wildlife of the area. They include live and taxidermied animals. The walks and hikes include mine equipment, a shack from long ago, the Oak of the Golden Dream, a tar seep, and the remnants of a long gone ranch. Depending on the season the creek might have water and frogs.

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