Thousand Oaks, CA
Wildwood Regional Park is a heavily trafficked, expansive area to explore, sprawling some 27 miles of trails. There's an obvious element of wild beauty here (rolling, green hills, tall oaks, cacti grooves, wildflowers, creeks and waterfalls) mixed with the unavoidable impact of human intrusion; the trails are heavily trampled, the water is mixed with city runoff (stagnant water smell is palpable), trash, wire, and concrete lay here and there, and you're never far from a view of the city. Yet the charm of the place is unmistakable and I find its name fitting, if only for the wild and diverse mix of plants that tangled about the place. 'twas easy for me to wonder what sort of paradise this sight was for those who first laid eyes on the place.
Sadly, part of this park was burnt in the recent Hill Fire of last year. The fire itself took out over 4,500 acres of Ventura County, its eastern reach just snagging the west corner of the park. Luckily it didn't spread further, allowing the park to still be visited and enjoyed by locals and non-locals alike.