Tucked in a canyon off Highway 14 in the Santa Clarita Valley is a little gem called Placerita Canyon Nature Center. Operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, Placerita Canyon is a east-west canyon on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains. It has a seasonal stream and waterfall and is home to interesting landmarks, different plant communities, and California wildlife. With lots of hiking trails and some picnic areas tucked in various places, it’s the perfect place for a quiet stroll through the wilderness. It also has a small museum with exhibits from the area and park guides to answer all your questions about the surrounding landscape and to introduce you to some of the canyon’s inhabitants.
The nature center is a great place to spend the day and if you want to learn more about the park, they are having a open house on May 11, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. I’d recommend getting there early, though, because this park is very popular with the locals. For more information and directions click here.