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L.A. River Excursion: Frogtown West Bank

This L.A. River article is part of a donation matching challenge grant supported by Newman's Own Foundation. Learn more about the L.A. River and a special thank-you gift of an original handcrafted mosaic necklace that commemorates the river.
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Recently paved, the Elysian Valley path stretches seven miles from Mariposa Street south to Riverside Drive and Figueroa Street. Start at the Great Blue Heron gate at Fletcher Avenue and head south along the west bank.

Going out early in the morning provides one of the best opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the Los Angeles River. It's been mild lately, which you can feel as a slight chill blows along the river bank and onto the pathway while the clouds are still lingering before the afternoon sun burns them away. Grab a cup of coffee from a local coffee shop, such as Kaldi or Silverlake Coffee, and saunter along the west bank of Frogtown.

(Map after the photos)

The underside of Fletcher Drive Bridge.
The underside of Fletcher Drive Bridge.

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Nearly the halfway mark from the head to the mouth of the Los Angeles River.
Nearly the halfway mark from the head to the mouth of the Los Angeles River.
On a clear day such as this, you can see the San Gabriel Mountains.
On a clear day such as this, you can see the San Gabriel Mountains.
Along Clearwater Street, adjacent to the pathway, are two murals of Dutch row houses on the walls of what would otherwise be very plain buildings.
Along Clearwater Street, adjacent to the pathway, are two murals of Dutch row houses on the walls of what would otherwise be very plain buildings.
Recently paved, this makes a great path for bicyclists, however, the narrow pathway is designated for both pedestrians and bikes.
Recently paved, this makes a great path for bicyclists, however, the narrow pathway is designated for both pedestrians and bikes.
Graffiti has moved from the banks of the river into vacant lots.
Graffiti has moved from the banks of the river into vacant lots.
As you pass underneath the Glendale Freeway, you'll feel strange vibrations of cars driving 70-miles-per-hour above you.
As you pass underneath the Glendale Freeway, you'll feel strange vibrations of cars driving 70-miles-per-hour above you.
Here the river opens up to views of Elysian Valley on the east bank reminding us that Los Angeles can be green and hilly.
Here the river opens up to views of Elysian Valley on the east bank reminding us that Los Angeles can be green and hilly.
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A Mosaic frog, snake, and turtle, are fun for kids at Marsh Park--
A Mosaic frog, snake, and turtle, are fun for kids at Marsh Park.
--While older kids scratch love notes for one another in oak trees.
--While older kids scratch love notes for one another in oak trees.
The park is sandwiched between two warehouses and fenced off.
The park is sandwiched between two warehouses and fenced off.
Demand for access to the river from the community has opened up pathways that were once closed for years by gates. New pathways are built and barriers are removed.
Demand for access to the river from the community has opened up pathways that were once closed for years by gates. New pathways are built and barriers are removed.

 

 

 

 

Photos By: Justin Cram