An underappreciated historic site just off the Golden State Freeway in Newhall, Mentryville is a gorgeous place to hike that also offers some pretty cool old stuff to look at. Located at the entrance of scenic Pico Canyon, Mentryville was a 19th-century oil boom town built around its famous oil well, Pico No. 4. Antique oil drilling rigs and other artifacts line the canyon road, and you can tour the preserved buildings of Mentryville on alternate weekends. It's sort of reminiscent of Pioneertown (and has served as a movie location, natch), with the added bonus of hiking trails that are mostly flat, mostly shaded, bikeable and family-friendly. Recent upgrades include pleasant little bridges, benches and picnic tables to enjoy, plus there's plenty of parking ($5 fee). But Mentryville manages to hang onto its Old West flavor, despite being just a couple miles away from busy Santa Clarita. —Suzy Beal

27201 Pico Canyon Road, Newhall, 91381. (661) 251-8820,

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