Porter Ranch

An eight mile lollipop loop connecting four trails in Porter Ranch.  I’ve been on many hikes where part of the time is spent near neighborhoods overlooking houses, crossing streets, etc.  This hike never gets away from that setting – houses are always in view and foot traffic on the trails is heavy.  Porter Ranch looks like a nice neighborhood – clean, wealthy and well kept and everyone I passed was very friendly.  As far as hiking is concerned, it was just a bit too much civilization for my taste.

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5       6      7   The first trail on this hike, Limekiln Trail, is off of Rinaldi just a couple of minutes off the 118 Freeway.  A rabbit was munching on grass at the trailhead.  I don’t think I’ve seen a rabbit of this color out in the wild.  Looks like someone’s pet might have escaped.  The sometimes paved, sometimes dirt Limekiln Trail runs parallel to Tampa Avenue.  The trail passes over a creek a couple of times and under a big bridge.  Photo 5 – Here the trail ascends until it’s about 15 feet below Tampa Avenue.  The trail really does run right next to the road.  Photo 7 – At the end of Limekiln Trail I was spit out on Sesnon Blvd., which runs perpendicular to Tampa Ave.  I turned right on Sesnon and at the junction with Tampa, turned left and crossed the street.  Finding the second trail, Sesnon Trail, was difficult as it doesn’t look like a trail and there’s no sign.  After I crossed the street at the Tampa – Sesnon junction, I just kept going straight towards the mountains.  A Gas Co. facility is on the left and some homes are on the right.  I took the path that curves to the right and leads behind the houses.

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Sesnon Trail runs between people’s fenced backyards and property owned by the Gas Co.  It’s as much an alley as it is a trail.  I passed some kind of odd looking antenna(?) above the trail.  It looks like a giant pinwheel.

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Sesnon Trail ends at a paved road.  If you walk past the road and beside the last house across the street you’ll be treated to a great view.

13     14   I continued on the loop by walking down the street off of Sesnon Trail.  I soon saw a Park on the left – Porter Ridge Park.  I took a left off of the sidewalk and walked through the little park and then again meet up with Sesnon Ave.  I took a left and followed Sesnon to it’s end.

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At the end of Sesnon Blvd. there is a yellow pipe fence on the left.  This is the start of the third trail, Aliso Canyon Trail.

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19   There are some beautiful shaded areas in Aliso Canyon.

21   There are many well worn false trails splitting off of Aliso Canyon Trail.  Palisades Trail makes a sharp right off of the trail and backtracks.  There is no sign at the turn-off and no one I asked had heard of Palisades Trail.  You can’t really get lost though, as Aliso Canyon Trail ends at Rinaldi Ave. soon after you pass the junction with Palisades Trail.  If you reach Rinaldi, just go back and find the trail.  It’s not hard, trust me.  After a good climb you must cross over Reseda Blvd. to continue on.  This shot is taken after crossing Reseda Blvd. and continuing on Palisades Trail.

22     23   I walked up the trail parallel to Reseda Blvd. for 0.3 miles to the turn-off marked with an ankle level pipe gate.  Lots of trash on the ground here, and evidence of teenage partying.

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This last part of Palisades Trail is probably the best part of this hike.  While I was right on top of all these houses, the trail itself was empty.  Palisades Trail, for a long distance, is bordered by a curvy, wooden fence.

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I pass a bush with bright orange berries.

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In the distance, Stoney Point and Rocky Peak.

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Closer – Stoney Point in foreground, Rocky Peak in the back

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I turned a corner and the Santa Susana Mountains highest peak, Oat Mountain, came into view.

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Palisades Trail runs beneath cool looking sedimentary bluffs.

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Palisades Trail – Porter Ranch

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43       44   Photo 4 – Lizard hiding in a pipe next to the trail.  Photo 6 – Palisades Trail ends at Tampa Ave.  I crossed over Tampa to get back on Limekiln Trail (remember that Limekiln Trail runs parallel to Tampa Ave.)  Tampa Ave. isn’t incredibly busy but it is a four lane road with a 50 mph speed limit.  Cross mindfully.  I completed the loop by heading back down Limekiln Trail to it’s beginning and my car.

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