I don’t think it’s any secret to anyone that something Alex and I really enjoy doing together is hiking. But we love it even more when we can bring our bull terrier pup, Marty, along with us! Bull Terriers aren’t particularly known for their endurance, so when it comes time for our all-day treks, we always drop Marty off at Camp for the day instead — where he can have fun running around with all his pup friends! By the time we pick him up, he’s pooped from a fun day in the sun, and we’re pooped from a full day of climbing mountains…which makes cuddling up on the couch together even better 😉
Luckily for Marty, there are lots of short hiking options in LA…and dog-friendly ones at that! Yesterday, we spent our Memorial Day exploring one of those very trails: The George F Canyon Nature Preserve located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. This was a new little trail to us!
This preserve sits on roughly 35 acres of land and includes a ~2 mile out-and-back trail, nature center, and a demo garden. The lush greenery throughout the trail almost makes you forget you’re even in LA! There’s a small stream that runs throughout the trail, and there are lots of little critters, lizards, and songbirds along the way to be on the lookout for. There are some benches along the path and a cute little seating area in the demo garden — which demonstrates how to use native California plants to construct an easy to maintain and eco-system-friendly garden of your own. It feels like such a hidden little gem, I was shocked we had never heard of it before!
The trail itself is easy enough. You don’t reach an incline until you’re near the end (or halfway point, since you’ll need to turn around). You’ll reach a lookout point where — if it’s a clear day — you can see Mt. Baldy, which is pretty neat. There’s a sign posted here that says “Trail End,” but you can actually continue up a little ways further until you reach a residential road. This trail is really popular among horse riders, so beware of droppings on the path, or if you have a pup who is easily spooked by horses, just be on the lookout. The wildlife along this path is pretty beautiful though, and pretty different from our usual hiking surroundings! Our Marty and Banjo (who we’ve been dog-sitting for the last two weeks) loved it so much…we couldn’t get over how happy they were just playing on the trail! Al and I loved it so much that we’re already talking about making this a more regular spot for our Marty hikes, since there’s plenty of shade and benches. It tired him out enough that we were able to stop and get coffee afterwards in Old Torrance, and he slept under the table the entire time 😉 — that’s a win in our book!
While the Nature Center was closed when we went due to the holiday, the hours are Friday 1-4pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10-4pm. You can schedule appointments on any of the other days. Inside there are reptiles and amphibians to look at and learn about, as well as lots of information about the plant and wildlife on the Preserve. It’s hard to believe that this little bit of acreage is right in our backyard and we never knew it!
While Al and I love all of the big bad hikes that our city has to offer, we can’t help but count ourselves lucky for these smaller, less extreme nature trails to enjoy as a family when we just want to take a morning to be outside together. I think we’ve got another one on our radar that I’m excited to check out as well! We’ve also had such a great time dog-sitting Banjo for the last two weeks — he is a dream! I keep thinking to myself, “wow we can totally handle two dogs!” but then I remember that Banjo is an older, wise man of a dog who listens to your every command and I realize that not all dogs are like that 😉 He’s just fit so well into our little family, and we’re thankful for all that he’s been teaching Marty in the dog world! We’re already sad at the thought of him not being with us anymore…and he’ll only be just next door! ha!
I’m heading out of town this weekend for a Bachelorette back east, so look for May’s Lookback a few days late (per usual)! 😉 In the meantime, get outside and find a new trail! I recommend the AllTrails App on your iPhone or Smart Phone! It has great filters like distance, difficulty, and of course dog-friendly! 😉 Check it out!