Wildwood Park History/Overview
In addition to its diverse multi-use trail system across ridgelines and into lush valleys, Wildwood Park is rich in historic and archaeological resources, unusual geologic formations, and is home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Please note that some trails are only open to hiking. Please obey all trail use designations.
More than 250 plant species have been identified within the park. Plant communities include southern oak woodland, riparian woodland, chaparral, coastal sage scrub, desert scrub, California grassland, and freshwater marsh. Wildwood Park is perhaps best known for its spring wild-flower displays from January to June.
More than 60 species of birds, 37 species of mammals, and 22 species of reptiles and amphibians can be found here. Dense vegetation associated with oak woodlands creates ideal fawning conditions for the park's mule deer population. Bobcats and coyotes also inhabit the park, and mountain lions are occasionally present.
The Chumash lived here for nearly 8,000 years until the early 19th Century. During the Spanish colonization of California, the land became part of "Rancho El Conejo" in 1803. Cattle and sheep grazed on these rich grasslands through much of 20th Century. From the 1930's through the 1960's, numerous Hollywood movies were filmed here, including "Spartacus" and "Wuthering Heights," as well as TV series including "Wagon Train," "The Rifleman," and "Gunsmoke."
In 1967 the Conejo Recreation and Park District (CRPD) acquired Wildwood Canyon and
Mount Clef Ridge from the Janss Corporation. Wildwood Mesa was added to the Park in 1987. Today the 1,765 acre park falls under the jurisdiction of the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA), a joint powers authority of the City of Thousand Oaks and the CRPD.
Outdoor activities for people of all ages take place in Wildwood, including nature hikes, summer day camps, and interpretive programs. For more information, contact the CRPD Outdoor Unit at 495-2163. Additionally, the Conejo Open Space Trails Advisory Committee (COSTAC) coordinates an annual program for 5th Graders of Conejo Valley public schools. To become involved with projects that benefit Wildwood Park or Conejo open space areas, please visit the COSCA website at www.conejo-openspace.org.