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Hopkins Wilderness Park

Hopkins Wilderness Park, located in Los Angeles, CA, is an urban wilderness that features trails, a lake (Lake LaBrea), and recreational facilities. It was named for Charles Francis Hopkins, who in 1882 became the first person to discover oil in California.

Located off Wilshire Boulevard near La Brea Avenue in Westchester, the park is operated by the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation.

Hopkins Wilderness Park History


The area that is now Hopkins Wilderness Park was once a marsh fed by Ballona Creek, which drained to Ballona Lagoon at Marina del Rey. In the 1920s, the California oil boom caused a rise in ocean water levels along the coast, which increased groundwater in the area, forming a large freshwater lake.

The area was purchased by the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation in 1977 for $2.5 million, with funding provided by Proposition A Bond Funds, California State Parks Foundation, Prop 12 funds, LA County Prop K funds, the Russel Wright Design Awards Program, and individual donations.

In 1980 the park was dedicated as Hopkins Wilderness Park in honor of Charles Francis Hopkins (1812-1902), who discovered oil in California, and laid down the "pathway to California's fortune."

Hopkins Wilderness Park Facilities

Hopkins Wilderness Park has lots of facilities including an amphitheater, an archery range, basketball courts, barbecues, picnic areas with tables and barbecue pits, hiking trails that lead into the wilderness area of the park, a boat launch site for small boats into Lake LaBrea (which is only open seasonally).

It also has a children's playground area with swings and slides/monkey bars, a lake (Lake LaBrea) for fishing and non-motorized boating (only open seasonally), a lighted, outdoor multi-purpose ball field complex, restrooms with drinking fountains and vending machines, an off-leash dog park area for dogs to run off leash in a contained area, a paved jogging/walking trail, tennis courts (bring your own racquet), and volleyball courts.

Furthermore, Hopkins Wilderness Park has a biking/skating path that is .9 miles long and is located on the perimeter of the park. The path also connects with the Ballona Creek bicycle path.

Hopkins Wilderness Park Events

Throughout the year, Hopkins Wilderness Park hosts events including picnics, barbecues, movie nights (bring your own chair), concerts (bring your own lawn chair), and bird watching tours that are free.

Hopkins Wilderness Park is a lot of fun for people of all ages! So if you're looking for a great adventure on a nice day, then you should definitely check it out.

See the next article in this series: Los Angeles National Veterans Park

See the previous article in this series: Hermosa Beach Pier

In Los Angeles CA

By Citrus Fresh Housekeeping

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