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Culver City Nature Trail: The Westside's No-Excuse Walk

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By David Lockeretz of Nobody Hikes in L.A. / Special to LAist

Some of the famous hikes in the L.A. area require physical fitness, acclimation to altitude, tenacity and a willing to tackle the unknown. However, there is only one prerequisite to walk on the 0.25-mile Culver City Nature Trail: a pulse.

It’s easy to talk a great game about wanting to get more exercise, or to get out into nature. This trail provides an easy opportunity for anyone who lives or works on the west side of L.A. to put their money where their mouth is. The Culver City Nature Trail is conveniently located, and fully ADA accessible. The wooden walkway climbs gradually up the western side of the Baldwin Hills in a series of switchbacks. On the way up, if the weather is clear, you can get nice views of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Hollywood Hills, the ocean and more. At the top, you can extend the trip by walking around the baseball diamonds. There’s also a large sun dial and some interpretive plaques, describing the history of the area.

Those looking for a more rugged outdoor experience would be better served to visit the Santa Monica Mountains or the Angeles National Forest, but for many people, the accessibility of the Culver City Nature Trail make it a perfect spot for a family walk or a quick stroll before or after work. No special athletic gear is required; on my visit there I saw a woman walking up the trail wearing high-heeled boots. Yet for joggers, the trail can be quite a workout when done several times in a row.

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The Culver City Nature Trail is located in Culver City Park, at 9800 Jefferson Blvd. (on the corner of Duquense). From I-10, take the Fairfax Ave. exit. Head south on Fairfax for 0.3 miles and turn left on La Cienega. Go 0.6 miles and turn right on Rodeo Road. Go 0.3 miles and turn left on Jefferson. Go 0.8 miles and turn left, into the park. From Santa Monica, take I-10 to the National Blvd. exit. Turn left on National, go 0.8 miles and stay straight on Exposition. Take the first right on Hughes. Drive a total of 1.2 miles (Hughes becomes Duquense), cross Jefferson and enter the park. From the South Bay, take I-405 to Sepulveda Blvd. Head north on Sepulveda for 1.1 miles and take a slight right on Jefferson. Go 1.5 miles and the park will be on your right.

The Culver City Nature Trail is operated by the Baldwin Hills Conservancy. For more information about the trail, visit the Conservancy’s website.