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Stough Canyon Nature Center

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Stough Canyon Park

Above the top of the Upper Debell Golf Course lies a valid reason to hike over the mountains from Wildwood Canyon Park. At the top of Walnut Avenue, near the Nature Center, the fire road leads to the Verdugo (Wildwood) Mountainway Trail. The Stough Park area has a kid’s hike for birthdays and kid’s parties. An outdoor theatre and classroom, a library and nature hikes can make any celebration a healthy an renewing nature activity.

This is also referred to the “water tower” or radio station trail, as the crest of the trail comes over the top of the mountain from the back fire road into Wildwood park. The Verdugo Hills Mountainway is an extensive trail system migrating over the mountain toward Glendale for a brisk hike and back towards Pass Avenue much farther north in Burbank for a robust hiker’s pace. 

The trails, which extends from the Sun Valley area North of Burbank to the mountainous Glendale' adjacent Brand Park can test the strongest hiker. Bring water, a cellphone, sunblock and a hat on sunny days. A strong stick might be excellent leverage through steep and narrow rocky switchbacks, especially the north trail of Wildwood leading up from the water tower split. Restrooms of a distinctly primitive variety are located inside the nature center and at the base of the Wildwood lower and middle trailheads. Water fountains of weathered industrial dependability dot the Wildwood Park, bring your own water.

The trails in the Burbank Hills are sandy and unpaved, secluded and should be traveled with a companion. Burbank Police occasionally patrol the paved roads thousands of feet below the trail paths. Take a charged up cell phone or GPS is hiking alone, if possible. Dogs are supposedly off-leash but an estimated 50% of hikers ignore that rule. The other trails stemming from the Burbank Nature Center and the crest of the upper Wildwood paths lead northeast to the communities of Tujunga and La Crescent

Hiking and mountain biking are permitted on the fire roads. Stay to the side of the road consistently to avoid dust and being hit by speedy or careless bikers. Burbank hikers should wear a strip of bright clothing in case they get lost or fall into neighboring brush. Hillsides are steep, sandy and uncertain, wear shoes with traction. Early morning and dusk are crowded times, but Burbank city schedules moonlights hikes and community and service groups may have events trawling the paths as well.

The smaller trails are for hiking only and along with the fire roads lead to spectacular views of the San Fernando valley. The base of the Wildwood Park and mountain trails have grassy and cool canyon picnic areas. Unfortunately, the peace and serenity is clouded at times by the shooting range right near by. Paved roads run up the narrow canyon road to the base of the water tower fire road trailhead.

The Stough Canyon Nature Center has an exhibit hall with educational and interpretive displays about the natural history of the area and its plant life. It features a small nature library, a focal classroom, and an environmentally congruous outdoor amphitheater. The Stough Center provides information on local habitat and the natural history of the area. Visitors to Burbank, residents and hikers come for the nature workshops, classes and seasonal day camps.

Community activism is encouraged. Local docents provide ongoing hiking activities in the park. Call the Center for signing up, training, or information.

Stough Canyon Address:
Stough Canyon Nature Center
2300 Walnut Avenue
Burbank, CA 91501

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