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Egret Park, Elysian Valley

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From Egret Park, located at the downstream end of the scenic Glendale Narrows, you can observe the contrast in the river where the soft bottom ends and miles of concrete begin. This 3.4 mile walk features seven pocket parks, native planting, and scenic soft-bottom river. This is one of the most appealing and natural stretches along the entire river.

STARTING POINT

Located at the downstream end of the Los Angeles River Glendale Narrows Bike Path.

DIRECTIONS TO THE START

BIKE: Starting southbound take the Los Angeles River Greenway Trail from Gilroy Steet off of Riverside Drive. If you're coming northbound, Avenue 19 turns into San Fernando Road and you can hop on the Greenway Trail from there.

TRANSIT: Take the MTA Bus 96 and get off at the corner of Riverside Drive and Elmgrove Street. Walk three blocks southeast on Riverside to Egret Park.

CAR: Exit the 5 Freeway at Stadium Way/Riverside Drive in Elysian Valley. Go southeast on Riverside Drive. Turn left at Oros Street and park. Walk southeast on Riverside Drive to Egret Park, located just past Barclay Street.

WALKING DIRECTIONS

Start at Egret Park, a triangle-shaped pocket park, designed by Lynne Dwyer. The park marks the downstream end of Elysian Valley and the last of the soft-bottomed Glendale Narrows. The formerly barren spot was transformed into a mini-park by North East Trees in 1997. The park, maintained by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy/Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (SMMC/MRCA) features interpretive signs, showing native birds and plants and the native American history of the area.

Painted on the far side of river is the Anza Mural by Frank Romero. The piece commemorates the 1775-76 Juan Bautista de Anza expedition, incorporating iconography based on Tonga symbols for mountains, river, and dolphins.

Walk upstream (away from the freeway). The path you are walking on is shared by bicyclists and pedestrians; watch out for bicyclists.

On your left in about a tenth of a mile is Steelhead Park, also a collaboration of NET and the SMMC/MRCA. Steelhead Park features a Brett Goldstone-designed fence with silhouettes of steelhead trout. Steelhead were plentiful in the Los Angeles River until it was paved with concrete in the middle of the last century. Friends of the L.A. River founder Lewis MacAdams is fond of stating that we will know that FoLAR's job is done when the steelhead return to the river.

Steelhead mini-park features De Anza expedition interpretive signage and a small outdoor classroom constructed from reused broken concrete. The park is designed to collect rainwater, which soaks into a small yarrow meadow in the middle.

Continue walking upstream through one of the nicest areas of the entire river. The water meanders from one side of the channel to the other. Ducks, coots, swallows and other birds make their homes here. On your left are sycamores and cottonwoods planted by North East Trees in the late 1990s.

There are a number of pocket parks along this section; all are collaborations of North East Trees with the SMMC/MRCA. At 0.6 mile, the end of Meadowvale Street has been converted into Duck Park. The park features an artistic bench, native vegetation, and decorative stonework. Can you spot the throne?

Just past Meadowvale is Riverdale Park, a well-used site with benches overlooking the river and river rock stairs connecting to the end of Riverdale Street.

Further on (even with Eads Street, though only accessible from the river) is a small park informally known as Good Stuff Park. It was named for the frequent aroma of fresh-baked bread that used to waft over the area from commercial bakeries nearby.

At mile 1.7 (recognizable by a large eucalyptus tree on your left), is Elysian Valley Gateway Park (see Walk 11), one of the earliest pocket parks along the river. This is the turnaround point for this walk, retrace your footsteps to the start.

Near the starting point, at the corner of Oros Street and Riverside Drive, is one more NET and SMMC/MRCA park project called Osos Park. The pocket park features native trees and plants, and life-sized silhouettes sculptures (designed by Michael Amescua) of native fauna that would have inhabited the area historically, including grizzly bear and deer. To get to Osos Park, exit the river at Steelhead Park. Walk southeast on Oros Street to Blake Street.

NEARBY PARKS

River Garden Park

Located at the corner of San Fernando Road and Avenue 26 this park is open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset. Park amenities include a running water fountain, park benches, a picnic table, and lawn area.

Rio de Los Angeles State Park

The park is located at 1900 San Fernando Road and encompasses sports fields, a children's playground and a recreation building.

DINING

La Paloma Restaurant

1910 Cypress Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90065-1223

(323) 225-4913

King Taco Restaurant Inc

1118 Cypress Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90065-1111

(323) 223-2595

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