Historic Placerita Canyon gets 50-year lease agreement
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved a 50-year agreement for the operation, maintenance, development and control of the Santa Clarita Valley’s Placerita Canyon Natural Area, according to information released Tuesday by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, whose 5th District includes the area.
The agreement ends a month-to-month lease the park had been operating under since June 1986, even though Placerita Canyon was transferred to the county from the state in 1949.
Located in Newhall, the park is famous for the "Oak of the Golden Dream" where gold was first discovered in California in 1842, and it is a state historic landmark. It includes an educational nature center offering nature walks, school programs and live animal presentations. Visitors are able to traverse a 12-mile network of eight different trails featuring native sycamore groves, sandstone formations and seasonal streams, among other highlights.
Placerita Canyon, which connects to the Angeles National Forest, the Santa Susana Mountains, the Simi Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains, has been the outdoor set for many western movies and 1950s TV series, including "The Cisco Kid" and "Hopalong Cassidy." Movie companies often used the historic cabin built in 1920 by Frank Walker, who eked out a life there with his wife and 12 children.
-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita
Photo: Walkers Cabin, one of several homes built in Placerita Canyon in the early 1900s, is part of the Placerita Canyon Nature Center in Newhall. Credit: Los Angeles Times