IN THE VAL­LEY BY THE RIVER

Los Angeles Times - - SATURDAY - By Charles Flem­ing

Much has been made of the green­ing of the Los An­ge­les River, es­pe­cially in the ar­eas be­tween Grif­fith Park and down­town L.A. But the river has steadily been get­ting im­prove­ments up­stream, too. ¶ This is a very pleas­ant ur­ban stroll along a sec­tion of the flood con­trol chan­nel as it passes across the south­ern end of the San Fer­nando Val­ley. It also of­fers a few choice spots for a shady pic­nic, if you’re hav­ing lunch in the area.

1

Start this walk in Sher­man Oaks, near the in­ter­sec­tion of Ful­ton Av­enue and Val­ley­heart Drive. On the south­east cor­ner of that in­ter­sec­tion, find the en­trance to a land­scaped river­side walk as it de­scends from street level.

2

Fol­low the river­side path as it passes seat­ing ar­eas and in­for­ma­tional signs de­pict­ing the flora and fauna found here.

3

Leave the river as the path bends up­ward and de­posits you on Cold­wa­ter Canyon Av­enue. Turn left, walk across the bridge, and re-en­ter the river­walk by turn­ing left again just be­fore you get to the cor­ner — tak­ing a slop­ing ramp back down be­low street level.

4

Fol­low the path along the north­ern side of the water­way.

5

Exit the river­side area by fol­low­ing the walk­way back up to street level, to the right, and land­ing on Ful­ton Av­enue. Walk to the right, to the cor­ner of Moor­park Street. Cross Ful­ton to the left. Then cross Moor­park, and con­tinue walk­ing one block on Ful­ton, with the river at your back.

6

Turn left onto Val­ley-heart Drive North. Walk four short blocks to Sun­nys­lope Av­enue. Then turn left, and cross the river on an un­usual, nar­row pedes­trian bridge.

7

Turn right off the bridge into the cul-de-sac end of Rye Street. Turn left af­ter one short block onto Al­lott Av­enue. Then turn left right away onto Moor­park Street.

8

Walk back to Ful­ton Av­enue, turn right, and you’ll find your­self back at the start­ing point.

Flem­ing is the au­thor of “Se­cret Stairs: A Walk­ing Guide to the His­toric Stair­cases of Los An­ge­les” and “Se­cret Walks: A Walk­ing Guide to the Hid­den Trails of Los An­ge­les.” Each month, he leads a free walk at one of his fa­vorite spots in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. Find out more at his Face­book page, Se­cret Stairs. He can also be reached at charles.flem­ing@la­times.com.

Pho­to­graphs by Glenn Koenig Los An­ge­les Times

GE­ORGE AND MICHELLE BACHOIAN and their dog Pa­tron take a walk re­cently in a shady spot on a path along the Los An­ge­les River in the south­ern end of the San Fer­nando Val­ley.

A VIEW OF THE walk­ing path next to the L.A. River as seen from Cold­wa­ter Canyon Av­enue.

Lou Spir­ito

A MO­SAIC MU­RAL of a steel­head trout cre­ated by artist Kevin Car­man can be found on the L.A. River walk­way in Stu­dio City.

KEVIN ACKAD en­joys the view of the river in Stu­dio City.

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