Hidden in the trees and brush across Old Topanga Canyon Road from is a mile-long neighborhood stroll that while only steps away from homes and Mulholland Highway, delves into the natural state of the area.
The path runs through an area called Headwaters Corner, home to Dry Canyon Creek and a restoration project. Headwaters Corner is a great example of the chaparral’s diversity and exemplifies several species of native flora including Live Coastal Oaks, sage and a variety of little yellow, purple and orange flowers blooming on both the shaded trail and open grasslands.
To get to the small nature spot, head toward Mulholland Highway while still on Old Topanga/Valmar Road and look to the right for the easily-overlooked metal bridge used to access the trail, which is almost directly across the street from the new exercise studio,
After crossing the bridge, turn right at a trail past the second bench to avoid walking to a dead end at the back gate of a home. In front of the dried creek bed, a plaque containing a picture of a man fishing the same creek a century ago, filled to the brim, signifies the transformative power of water. Up ahead, the trail forks.
Normally, sticking to the right to descend down the grassy hills and directly toward a bird tower is an enjoyable trek through an oak-canopied woodland but right now is spring time and thus, nesting time for birds who call Headwater Corner home. This segment of the trail is therefore temporarily closed.
Stick to the left to ascend the dirt path which gives way to a rocky surface. The short climb brings one into a more chaparral setting where sage thrive and lizards dart. The crane at Calabasas High School, parts of Mulholland Highway and homes are clearly visible from this sun-drenched high road near the clouds but the nearby civilization is also a source of comfort, knowing that it is impossible to get lost.
It is not long before grass and flowers claim the rocky desert-like portion of the trail, opening into a hilly expanse of plant life. Normally, this is where the loop would wrap around down the hillside to lead one through the woods and back to the Dry Canyon Creek. But along with the birds’ song and bees drone, a sign reminds visitors to please respect nature’s time to rebirth.
Headwaters Corner is a family-friendly serene stroll in the neighborhood perfect for taking a dog, on a leash only. Visit the Headwaters Corner website for more information.