Hiking in South LA? Yeah, that’s actually possible.
Today, we’re taking a trip to the far west side of South LA in the Crenshaw and View Park neighborhoods to visit the Stocker Corridor Trail. This 2.8-mile backtrail curves above and along Stocker Street between Presido Drive and South La Brea Avenue. It’s also the start of the Park to Playa Trail, a 13-mile regional network of 7 trails that spans between the Crenshaw district to Playa Del Ray.
Trails are rare in South LA. While LA City can be mountainous near its northern bounds, the majority of South LA sits in the basin, which makes it and its pockets of nature extremely flat. One instance of a local trail, however, is the man-made Augustus F. Hawkins Nature Park, which sits in the Central-Alameda neighborhood in South LA.
If you’re not counting the trails in the Kenneth Hahn State Park, the Stocker Corridor Trail is the only elevated hiking trail in South LA–a true rarity in this region.
I visited the trail on an early Saturday morning after parking at the dedicated lot on the corner of Stocker Street and Overhill Drive. The actual trail is pretty easy to walk: It’s narrow with few curves and it’s pretty easy on the elevation. On one side you’ll see the fast-moving traffic on Stocker Street, and on the other side you can really take in the native and wild plants that sit along the trail.
I’ll be honest, trail enthusiasts, probably won’t find this trail strikingly beautiful, or unique. But when they take a moment to realize that it’s one of the few elevated trails in South LA, it’s suddenly worth the 40 minutes it will take to get from point A to point B. The Stocker Corridor Trail is a great entry to casual exercise and hiking. It’s slow-moving, and not crowded, so beginners will feel at ease here.
Nearby, and also a part of the Park to Playa trail network is the Norman O. Houston Park, the Reuben Ingold Park, and the Kenneth HahnState Recreation Area.
Do you have a go-to hiking place in LA? Drop it down in the comments below. And I’ll catch you around on the recap.