This weekend my husband and I headed to Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook for a hike. If you live in the Los Angeles area and haven’t heard of this little California State Park right in Culver City off Jefferson Blvd., then you are missing out!
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is basically a really big grassy hill that was saved from development by a group of neighbors who couldn’t just sit by and watch the only green thing left in their entire community disappear. Thanks to all of their hard work, the rest of us get to enjoy a little patch of wild California right in the middle of urban insanity.
The park features a steep stone staircase where exercise buffs get in a serious cardio workout; there’s always a lot of heavy breathing from that area. I prefer to take the winding trail that crisscrosses back and forth around the stairs circling to the top. The trail is also a great workout and easier on the knees. But the best part is that as you walk up the trail, you are surrounded by beautiful tall wild grasses, shrubs and flowers teeming with wildlife.
There are always tons of birds flying around, cool lizards scurrying by and one time we saw a sweet snake lazying about in the sun. (After describing the snake to Park staff, they said it was a gopher snake and completely harmless.) The park also draws all sorts of people ready to sweat it up on the hill. I’ve seen personal trainers demanding sprints, entire families on a walk and dancers posing for pictures.
This weekend we climbed the trail and then walked down the steeper road, which allows cars to get to and from the Visitor’s Center at the top. We decided we still had some energy left and headed back up the road for another workout. As we were walking back up, a father and son came barreling down the hill from the trail at full speed. The boy was probably about four years old. As we passed by he asked his dad, “Do people feel a stabbing pain when they run too much?” The dad started laughing hysterically.
My thought: It’s good to teach your kids the merits of exercise, but it’s never too early to start teaching them to stop and smell the roses or in this case, the shrubbery.