LA County’s extensive and beautiful trail system contains many hidden gems. Among so many freeways and tall buildings, it’s easy to forget that our urban areas exist in an extraordinary natural landscape. From Topanga State Park to Castaic Lake, there are more than 2,000 miles of trails in Los Angeles County, so Angelinos never need to go far to see California Poppies, red-tailed hawks, and the rest of the region’s wildlife.
Now, the Department of Parks & Recreation is introducing a mobile app and website called Trails LA County to bring all our varied trail information together in one place. With a web of agencies managing the thousands of miles of trails in LA County, mapping them all with an overlay of useful filters is a huge task that’s never been done before. Trails LA County already covers more than 550 miles, and as more agencies come aboard, we’ll soon have full coverage.
The app lets trail users select for length, location, difficulty, trail features like wildlife watching and waterfalls, or needs such as family friendly and wheelchair accessible trails. It can even search for pet-friendly trails so four-legged friends can come along for a hike.
Offline maps power the Trails LA County app, so they’re available to keep hikers safe while on the trail even without cell reception.
“The app will… [allow] you to way find while you’re actually on the trail even if you’re out of cellphone range. So if you’re in the backcountry somewhere, you can rest assured that you’re on the right path,” said Michelle O’Connor, who heads the Parks Department’s trails planning section.
Additionally, Trails LA County lets hikers report maintenance issues, check the weather, and receive closure alerts.
For those who are new to hiking or new to Los Angeles, the trails at Malibu Creek State Park are a great choice. Even though the Woolsey Fire roared through the area last November, the Park has made a remarkable comeback in just seven months.
As the new app grows and adds trails, Trails LA County will also become home to a community of hikers, mountain bikers, and other trail users who share their adventures on social media using built-in sharing tools. It will also host news about our natural lands, curated outings, trail events, and volunteer opportunities.
Trails LA County will be a powerful resource for education, creating opportunities to teach Angelinos about healthy lifestyles and the importance of being stewards of our mutual backyard.
“The new Trails LA County app is a boon to all trail users, from the first-time trailblazer to the avid hiker,” said Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “I’m proud to support this wonderful online resource that will inspire people to explore new hikes in the County’s extensive trail system.”