Another nice day here in Los Angeles and I decided to take a hike at Kenneth Hahn State Park. And, I’m sooooo happy I did!
When I was a kid, I’m talking about 7-10 years old, I used to always visit Kenneth Hahn with the YMCA. It’s tucked away in the hills in Baldwin Park and offers all sorts of cool, green features including miles of hiking trails, 2 lakes that are home to many types of birds, a Japanese garden and much more!
According to Wikipedia, “The Park is named after Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors member Kenneth Hahn, father of former L.A. mayor Jim Hahn. The park opened in 1983 as the Baldwin Hills State Recreational Area and was renamed in Hahn’s honor in 1988. Since its opening, the park has been expanded as nearby oil wells have dried up. The area where the park is located was at one time inhabited by the Tongva aboriginal people. As Los Angeles quickly grew during the 20th century, only the park’s rugged terrain protected it from being developed. In 1932 the area east of the park was used as the site of the first Olympic Village during the 10th Olympiad, which Los Angeles hosted. In 1984 Los Angeles again hosted the Olympic Games, drawing athletes from 140 nations. To serve as a continual reminder of the events, 140 trees have been planted together on the hills where the 1932 events took place. Each tree represents a nation that took part in the 1984 Olympics. Between 1947 and 1951, the doomed Baldwin Hills Reservoir was built on the site. In 1963, the reservoir’s dam collapsed disastrously (see below video), and the bowl of the reservoir is still quite evident today. In the late 1940s, there were plans to build the aborted Laurel Canyon Freeway (SR-170) on a north-south path that would have dissected the park, where La Cienega Blvd. travels currently. In 1977, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn convinced Vice President Spiro Agnew (citation needed) to reuse the land for a park. At the time the area was a very popular spot for the new sport of motocross. Locals knew it as ‘Motorcycle Hill’. Land acquired for the park includes former oil-drilling sites (some can still be seen), and territory near the Ballona Creek watershed that forms a partial wildlife passage out through Culver City to the sea.”
Surprisingly, this remote, unseen park has received a lot of media attention. The park has been used as a filming location for Buffy the Vampire Slayer (“Once More With Feeling”), the golf scene in the film Swordfish was filmed in the adjacent oil field, the music video for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s Nuthin’ but a G thang was filmed here, and the park is featured in the video game Midnight Club: Los Angeles among many other appearances.
Please find photos from my journey below. Feel free to share your thoughts! 🙂