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Hidden Hiking Trail in Sherman Oaks Threatened by Development

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Into the hills of Sherman Oaks where expensive homes sit and windy roads lay are many a cul-de-sac. One of those areas off Beverly Glen leads a few Angelenos in the know about a little-known hiking trail in a practically ignored city park called Deervale (it's not even listed on the city's website).

The short ridgeline trail with some steep climbs is about an eight of a mile one way, taking you between the hills and near the base at Valley Vista Blvd. Park on one end--we recommend off Deervale Place at the top--and do the 1.6 mile roundtrip (find your way with this map). Despite being surrounded by development on surrounding hills, it has a nice secluded feel.

But there's one problem. A developer owns two parcels on the top portion of the trail off Deervale. Only one of the proposed homes--a 7,700 square foot mansion--is in the application process. A year ago, the city wouldn't let them even begin unless they gave a right-of-way easement for hikers, which was a good start.

But the problem comes with the second parcel where plans call for a 15,000 square foot castle that would eat up a considerable portion of the open space, according to neighbors who are working with the developer to keep as much of the the land as possible open for the public. This second parcel also has officials with the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority concerned because it could have large impacts the wildlife corridor.

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Whatever the future outcome be, this trail and hidden open space is an asset. We recommend you check it out if you live the area before it goes away.