Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area in Culver City offers much more than your average park. Even with a $6 parking fee, this is a park that I would come back to again and again. We came here last weekend with our hiking buddies Mike and Michelle, and although it wasn't a real "hike," we did manage to find some interesting short trails in the park.
Trying to find this hidden gem was a bit tricky, and we initially missed the turn-off. You can't see the park from the main road, but when you start seeing oil rigs, know that you're close. Once we got in, we parked in the nearest lot by the man-made lake and watched little kids feed the ducks. There was a friendly looking white duck that seemed to want to be pet, so Brad reached out his hand only to get his finger almost bitten. We also saw a majestic egret and a duck with a Russian hat on.
We then followed the path to some man-made waterfalls and streams. There were people fishing, bbq-ing and having family get-togethers all around. The path eventually led us to the community center where I grabbed a hiking map, then we continued following the road up the hill to where it dead ends at a parking lot. Once up there, we went to the right on a wide dirt road, hoping to find the trails. There are a lot of cleared areas with a wonderful view of downtown here. We saw a family picnicking and a guy taking pictures of his pee-wee herman bike leaned against a tree with the city in the background.
At the metal stake in the road that says "Warning, petroleum pipe underneath, don't dig," we turned left and continued a short ways until there was a narrow dirt trail to the left (it's the first left). We took that narrow dirt trail which ended up being Ron's Trail. Ron's Trail twists and turns along the side of a hill and overlooks Fairfax. We took that fragrant trail about 25 minutes or so until it took us back to the parking lot. It was a nice walk--perfect for people who don't want a full-out hike, but do want to be in nature for a while.
Overall, our visit took about 1.5-2 hours, but you could easily spend twice that amount of time exploring everything this park has to offer. This is also a great park for little ones and dogs on leashes.