The natural parklands that surround west Los Angeles are filled with extraordinarily diverse activities that most of us are unaware of. These trails and open spaces aren’t just for hiking! In fact, here’re a few upcoming activities that just might entice you into discovering a few of our great resources.
The Charmlee Wilderness Park (take PCH north to Encinal Canyon Road, and then inland for four miles), is offering a unique Native American Cultural Class. Ideal for all ages, experienced docents will teach the secrets of the local Chumash Indians. This is a three-hour historical adventure, unlikely to be experienced anywhere else! Call (310) 317-1364 for reservations or more information.
A little closer in, Topanga State Park is offering an easy paced two-hour nature walk with a lecture about the Birds and the Bees! You’ll discover everything you ever wanted to know about “flashers,” and the vital role color plays in pollination and the very survival of our planet. (Sunday, May 15, 1-3p.m. Call 818-758-1964.)
On the same day, you can cruise over to Paramount Ranch for the big Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival. Believe it or not, this plucky annual affair is in its fortieth year, and has become one of the world’s most respected “Old Time and Blue Grass Musical Events.” Jamming and dueling banjos are featured from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., along with folk singers, dancers and a variety of exhibits. The National Park Service teams up with the Topanga Banjo Fiddle folks to mount this extravaganza event. Call (818) 382-4819 for full details.
One additional event to be highlighted is the Santa Monica Mountains Native Plant Fair, on Saturday morning May 21 at the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa Park. The Santa Monica Mountains Fund is sponsoring this first time event, and it includes tours of the ethno-botanical gardens (who knew?) as well as displays and exhibits about native plants and nursery care. All proceeds from plant sales will benefit the park’s restoration. Call (805) 370-2301.
Last but not least, if you just want to go for a local two-hour hike, hook up with our free Monday and Wednesday night-hiking group. No docents, no lectures or musical performances – just a hike along one of 21 different trails.
Fearless readers interested in free Monday and Wednesday night hikes should call Scott Regberg at (310) 475-5735.